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River health letter to the Guardian

In response to a Guardian editorial on river health and water industry regulation Water UK submitted the following letter for publication.

Your article ‘Come clean on sewage’ (19 January 2022) is right to emphasise the need for a conversation about the water industry’s current regulatory framework.

Water companies recognise the urgent need to end harm from overflows and improve the health of our rivers. Our recent 21st Century Rivers report calls upon Government, regulators, water companies, agriculture, and other sectors to work together to deliver a comprehensive national plan to bring about the transformation in our rivers we all want to see. The radical improvement in England’s coastal bathing waters in recent decades, with 99% passing water quality tests and more than 70% classed as ‘excellent,’ shows what can be achieved by working together.

Water companies have invested over £160 billion into an industry that was previously starved of cash and want to invest more. That’s why we’re working with Government and Ofwat to facilitate greater collaboration and investment to ensure we don’t waste this critical decade.

Christine McGourty

Chief Executive, Water UK