Why water firms could face stiffer green sanctions

Water companies have come under heavy fire for their environmental performance in recent weeks, with both regulator and the environment secretary alluding to tougher penalties. Catherine Early reports

Water leak

Three billion litres of water a day is lost through leakage

Environment secretary Michael Gove did not hold back from criticising water companies’ track records on leakage and pollution at a recent industry event. Listing chief executives’ salaries and name-checking those with offshore financial accounts, he also accused companies of “prevarication and procrastination, ducking and diving and dragging of feet” when asked to improve their performance by regulators.

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