Industry regulator relaxes the targets for Yorkshire Water despite drought (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Industry regulator relaxes the targets for Yorkshire Water despite drought
Bosses at Yorkshire Water have said they will continue to reduce leakage on its network despite regulators relaxing its targets for the next three years.
Ofwat has said eight out of 21 water companies – including Yorkshire Water – have been set zero reduction of leaks targets to 2014/15, despite drought being declared in parts of the county.
The Bradford-based business was required to spend an additional £39 million on leak repairs after failing to meets its 2010/11 targets – but says it expects to meet this year’s targets set by the regulator. Last June the Telegraph & Argus reported the company was to be investigated by Ofwat after failing to meet its leakage target for the second year running.
But Yorkshire Water spokesman Matt Thompson yesterday said: “Following the investment of an additional £39 million into reducing leakage on our 32,000km network over the last 12 months and a great deal of hard work, we’re pleased to say month-on-month, we’re consistently recording our lowest ever leakage levels in the company’s history.
“With this in mind, we’re confident that we’ll meet this year’s leakage targets set by industry regulator Ofwat.”
Mr Thompson said the company remained committed to reducing leakage, replacing hundreds of miles of ageing pipework with robust versions.
He said: “We’ve also increased the number of people out on the ground locating and repairing leaks, with telemetry in place across much of the network to inform us of any changes in pipe pressures which could indicate a burst or leak.
“And with the company investing a further £300 million across the region over the next 12 months, with a big part of this being invested in improving our water pipes, customers can rest assured we’re more committed than ever to doing everything we can to reducing leakage on our network.”
Ofwat said it was urging firms to “step up to the plate” to reduce their leakages but, it added, customers might face higher prices.
A spokesman said: “The current drought shows the importance of tackling leakage. Companies need to listen to – and respond – to their customers. We know leakage matters to customers, but they also tell us they don't want large rises in bills to reduce leakage. And fixing leaks can be costly.”