An easy to use A to Z of some of the most commonly used terms used throughout the water industry.
A company's net debt expressed as a percentage of its capital (total capital, debt plus equity, in the case of Ofwat; but equity only in the case of City analysts). Borrowing and gearing are on a steeply rising trend because of the capital expenditure programme and because some companies are restructuring.
greenhouse gas emissions
Greenhouse gases (GHGs) are gases emitted to the atmosphere that contribute to the 'greenhouse effect', which is accelerating the increase in global temperatures and causing climate change. 'Emissions' is usually used to refer to the GHGs resulting from human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels (for example, coal). GHGs include water vapour, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and ozone.
Water occurring in permeable underground strata, e.g. chalk and sandstone.