OfwatSite last updated on 1 September 2015
The economic regulator of the water and sewerage sectors in England and Wales
Ofwat (The Water Services Regulation Authority) is the economic regulator of the water sector in England and Wales. Our role is to help the sector build trust and confidence with customers, the environment and wider society. Find out more about us.
Thames Tideway Tunnel licence award
We have confirmed the award of a licence to Bazalgette Tunnel Limited to deliver the 25km Thames Tideway Tunnel to deal with the problem of the amount of untreated sewage going into the River Thames. A new process for awarding the licence has resulted in significant savings for customers, against previous estimates, with Thames Water’s bills expected to remain at the current level, before inflation, until at least 2020.
- Thames Tideway Tunnel infrastructure provider project licence
- PN 02/15 Ofwat awards licence for Thames Tideway Tunnel
Find out more about our plans for the next five years
Our interactive five year business plan sets what we intend to do during 2015-16 to 2019-20 to help increase customers’ and wider society’s trust and confidence in their water and wastewater services ? and how we will work to do it.
Ofwat's five-year business plan: 2015-16 to 2019-20
Seeking views on dealing with future water challenges
We have set out our view on the main questions it - and the sector - needs to answer to deepen trust and confidence. We have already set out the shared vision for the sector as one where customers and wider society have trust and confidence in vital public water and wastewater services. We have now published a series of discussion papers on the specific challenges facing the sector, and areas the sector could look at to respond to these challenges – 'Towards Water 2020 – meeting the challenges for water and wastewater services in England and Wales'.
Referral of Bristol’s final determination, and South West's acquisition of Bournemouth to CMA
In December we set limits on the prices companies can charge between 2015 and 2020. Our decision meant that average bills in England and Wales are due to fall by around five per cent in real terms by 2020, while at the same time seeing improved levels of service. All but one company accepted our final determination. Bristol Water asked for its final determination to be referred to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) for review. We have now done this. The process is now taken forward by the CMA who will open Bristol’s final determination. Updates on the case, including our opening statement, are available from the CMA.
In April 2015 Pennon Group plc, the parent company of South West Water, acquired Bournemouth Water. As the turnover of both water companies is above £10 million this merger was automatically referred for investigation by the Competitions and Markets Authority (CMA). The CMA must decide if the merger will prejudice our ability to make comparisons between water companies and if so, what action must be taken to remedy, mitigate or prevent the prejudice or any adverse effect. Updates on the case, including our submission, are available from the CMA.