Natural England blasts water plans

England’s wildlife watchdog Natural England has attacked water firms’ 25-year resources plans which "fly in the face" of government plans to reduce consumption. Meanwhile, all firms except Scottish Water have met their leakage targets.

Natural England has complained that likely cuts in water abstraction needed to meet EU habitats Directive targets are not being factored into plans.1 Companies have only taken account of confirmed reduction requirements where investigations are complete. It says more reductions are likely to be needed.

Many resource plans also fail to consider the impacts of increasing abstraction on the environment and firms such as Severn Trent are criticised for weak metering policies. Many are also not planning to reach the government’s per capita consumption target of 130 litres per day.

Ofwat has reported that all English and Welsh firms have met leakage targets.2 But Scottish Water failed to meet its target by 69 megalitres per day.3 Its leakage stands at an estimated 924Ml/d, much more than even the worst English firm Thames Water, which reported it lost 715Ml/d to leaks over the last year.

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