England faces a serious risk of running out of water within 20 years because the three regulators failed to show leadership and took their “eye off the ball”, a cross-party committees of MPs has said.
In a damning report, the public accounts committee said the Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs, the financial regulator Ofwat and the Environment Agency had failed to be clear with the privatised water monopolies over how they should balance investment in infrastructure with reducing customers’ bills.
As a result, more than 3bn litres, or a fifth of treated water, is lost to leakage every day: a situation the committee described as “wholly unacceptable”.
“Ponderous” water companies have made “no progress” in reducing leakage over the past 20 years, the MPs said.
Although Ofwat has set new targets for water companies to reduce leakage by 16 per cent between 2020 and 2025, the MPs said