May 2024

Drought? Blame the useless, overpaid, over-pensioned fools at Ofwat

You might have woken up this morning, looked out at the driving rain and wondered how an island  – land surrounded by water – renowned for its miserable rainy weather could be short of water. The politically-correct BBC tells us that it’s because we had a dry winter. Bollocks, it’s really because the supposed water regulator Ofwat is so spineless and incompetent. Britain’s water companies waste almost a third of our water – almost one billion litres a day – through leakages. Ofwat, set up in 1989, is meant to regulate the water industry. In its first 14 years, it did not issue a single enforcement order obliging water companies to reduce leakage. In the last 9 years, it threatened to fine Thames water once but then backed down after Thames said they would take action. Naturally, nothing much happened. The only thing Ofwat seems to do is to keep allowing water companies to raise their prices.

The water companies claim that it would be too expensive to reduce leakage. But these companies, which are mostly foreign owned, regularly make profitc of 25% to 30% in Britain, while regulators in their home countries limit their profits to the 5% to 10% range. Meanwhile, Ofwat does nothing. The Public Accounts Committee has regularly criticised Ofwat for its inaction, but Ofwat still does nothing. It’s time to scrap Ofwat, declare water supply a strategic national asset which cannot be owned by foreign companies, force all foreign owners to sell their UK businesses and set a maximum profit level for water companies of say 10% as well as setting targets for investing in reducing leakage. But, of course, the Government will do nothing, the garbage at Ofwat will do nothing and we will continue to have water shortages even though we’re drowning in the stuff.

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