In the past year 'the environment' has emerged blinking into the spotlight and a frenzy of publicity. Last week water and the water industry were even subjects of a full debate at the Liberal Democrats' party conference.
Shadow Environment Secretary Chris Huhne proposed taking a serious look at turning "failing" water companies into 'not for profit' companies along the lines of the Welsh model. The Lib Dems' definition of failing seems to relate mainly to leakage. This, however, is just one of many measures used to measure the industry's performance; on the vast majority all companies perform well.
Mr Huhne and his colleagues may find it interesting to dip into the most recent Ofwat 'Levels of service' report, where they will find, amid a mass of regulatory data, that for example the number of properties in England and Wales at risk of low pressure is now 0.03% (1990-95 1.33%) and that for eight years running, compliance with wastewater treatment standards has been around 99%.
Contact: Bryan Wallis