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Response to the Environment Agency’s Environmental Performance Assessment

Responding to the Environment Agency’s Environmental Performance Assessment published today (Wednesday July 10 2019), Water UK Chief Executive Michael Roberts said:

“This year’s assessment of environmental performance is disappointing, given the major progress which water companies have made over many years in improving the environment. As the Environment Agency acknowledges, the situation is never black and white. Six out of nine companies are rated good or better in the assessment, and the most serious pollution incidents are down 18% on the previous year, but there is much more to do across the board to achieve the high standards which people rightly expect water companies to meet.

“Our good record on improving the environment is there for all to see. By 2020 the industry will have invested around £25 billion into environmental work, putting in more advanced treatment methods to improve the quality of our waterways. This will mean around 10000 miles of UK rivers have been improved and protected since 1995. And the industry has made a major commitment for the future, with an additional £5 billion to be spent between 2020 and 2025 on environmental improvements, and a reduction in serious pollution incidents of 90% by the end of 2025.

“Improving the environment remains a key priority for the industry and companies will work closely with regulators to ensure we deliver on our ambitious commitments.”