The government’s strategic priorities for Ofwat have been presented before Parliament in a strategic priorities statement (SPS).
It states that protecting and enhancing the nation’s water environment is a priority and that they want the water industry to play its part in achieving this. It is government’s expectation that Ofwat and the water industry will prioritise appropriate action to enhance water quality and deliver a resilient and sustainable water supply. In particular, government wants to see water and sewerage companies making progressive reductions in the adverse impacts of discharges from storm overflows.
According to the document the strategic priorities for Ofwat are:
- protect and enhance the environment: Working with other regulators and government, Ofwat should challenge water companies to improve their day-to-day environmental performance to enhance the quality of the water environment. Ofwat should also drive water companies to be more ambitious in taking action to protect and enhance the environment, in particular by taking appropriate action to improve water quality
- deliver a resilient water sector: Ofwat should challenge the water industry to plan, invest in, and operate its water and wastewater services to secure the needs of current and future customers, in a way which delivers value to customers, the environment and wider society over the long-term
- serve and protect customers: Ofwat should push water companies to provide a better and fairer water service for all, by improving customer services and complaints handling. Ofwat should challenge water companies to meet the needs of vulnerable customers, including those who are ‘transiently’ vulnerable
- use markets to deliver for customers: Where appropriate, Ofwat should consider how promoting competition in markets can drive long-term sustainable investment, providing benefits to customers and supporting government’s priorities. Ofwat should focus its efforts on the business retail market, the NAV market, ecosystem services, developer connections, major infrastructure provision, and bioresources
The full document can be read here.