PN 26/17: Money down the drain - leak crackdown could save enough water for five cities


The water regulator has signalled a new crack-down on leakage and is challenging water companies to save up to 170 billion litres of water a year by targeting leaks.

This drive to cut down on water lost through leaking pipes could save enough water to meet the needs of everyone in the cities of Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester, Liverpool and Cardiff combined (3.1 million). What’s more, saving this much water could lead to environmental benefits, greater resilience of supply and lower bills too.

The challenge, which is being consulted on, is being proposed as part of the measures for water companies to hit in the next price review period covering 2020-25.

While water companies have made real efforts in recent years to cut down on leaks, Ofwat is encouraging all to go much further and set ambitious commitments with their customers. To achieve these commitments, companies will need to find new ways of detecting and reducing leaks and must ensure that their infrastructure is kept up to scratch.

Ofwat Senior Director David Black said:

“Given the costs involved in treating water, these leaking pipes are money down the drain. Customers feel strongly about stopping leaks and while the sector has made progress, there is a lot more companies could and should do. That’s why we’re pushing each water company to really stretch themselves and get their leakage levels down. There is fantastic potential here – if companies meet the challenge, we could save enough water for 3.1 million people – that’s everyone in Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester, Liverpool and Cardiff.”

Ofwat Press Office:

Tel: 0121 644 7642
Mob: 074 5801 6085
Email: [email protected]