In a paper published January 13 on the impact the 2014 price review (PR14) had on the sector during 2015-20, Ofwat suggest that prices and services for customer’s had improved, but there could have been a stronger focus on environmental areas and the long term, including asset health, and there was little or no progress on leakage or river improvements.
During the 2015-20 period leakage decreased by 6%, but most of that was achieved in the final year after the more stretching PR19 15% reduction challenge was announced. Before that leakage had actually increased by 1%.
Bathing waters saw one of the highest improvements in the review, with 73% of bathing waters achieving the ‘excellent’ standard in 2019 up 67% from 2015.
River improvements fared less well, as the Environment Agency’s environmental performance assessment in 2019 highlighted only 16% of water bodies met the ‘Good Ecological Status’ standard. This figure needs to reach 75% by 2027 to meet the Water Framework Directive legal target.