Environment Agency CEO and Chair to give evidence to Lords Ofwat inquiry

The House of Lords Industry and Regulators Committee will continue its inquiry on the work of Ofwat, the UK’s water regulator, by taking evidence from Environment Agency CEO Sir James Bevan and Chair, Alan Lovell, from 10.30am on Tuesday 11 October.

The Committee will be questioning the Environment Agency on water companies’ environmental performance, particularly in relation to sewage discharges, and whether the regulators are monitoring the situation sufficiently.

The Committee will also discuss:

  • whether fines and penalties are strong enough to deter water pollution
  • whether regulators have enough resources to hold water companies to account
  • how the Environment Agency works with Ofwat.

The session will run from 10.30am until 12.30pm and can be followed live on Parliament TV or in person in Committee Room 2, Palace of Westminster.

Possible questions include:

  • How has the current situation with regard to sewage discharges been allowed to develop? Is there a need to tighten the permits that allow the use of storm overflows?
  • Do regulators have adequate resources to monitor and enforce water quality standards? Have cuts to the Environment Agency’s grant and a subsequent reliance on industry self-monitoring contributed to poor environmental performance?
  • Why has the Environment Agency called for chief executives and board members of companies responsible for serious and deliberate pollution incidents to be given prison sentences? To what extent is this currently possible and could existing powers have been used more forcefully?
  • What sorts of solutions are needed to ensure secure water supplies in the future? Will greater levels of water transfer around the country be sufficient, or is there a need for other solutions, such as building new reservoirs?


UK backs work to protect global water and food supplies at COP28

At COP28, the UK’s International Development and Africa Minister Andrew Mitchell has announced that the UK is scaling up a partnership with the World...

Green energy expansion for North East water company

A high-tech test facility which uses heat to capture ammonia from sewage, ready to turn into green fuels, is now up and running in...

Splashing the cash to neutralise nutrients in Somerset 

Ecological protection of Somerset’s watercourses and rivers is being significantly boosted by an investment of more than £18 million to reduce the impact of...