Water Company Performance

Every year Ofwat scrutinises the performance of the 17 largest water and wastewater companies in England and Wales and reports on their performance in meeting their obligations and the commitments set out in the PR19 determinations.  

Having information that is easy to understand and navigate allows customers, and other stakeholders, to challenge companies’ performance – and encourages companies to deliver better services. This helps everyone build trust and confidence in water. 

We do this by examining information reported by companies in their annual performance reports (APRs). These reports include information about: 

  • how they have done in meeting their targets for delivering their performance commitments; 
  • whether they have out- or under-performed on those performance commitments and the impact of that performance on equity returns as a result of ‘outcome delivery incentive’ (ODI) adjustments;  
  • company performance against cost allowances set at PR19 and in delivering service enhancements funded at PR19; and 
  • how companies will put things right where they are failing to deliver for customers or the environment. 

We compare information from companies’ APRs against a set of key performance commitments and expenditure metrics that we use to measure the services companies deliver for customers and the environment. In our assessment we use twelve performance commitments set for the largest water companies at PR19, which include:

  • customer satisfaction;
  • leakage; and
  • pollution incidents.  

To ensure the company reported performance information is accessible to stakeholders and to facilitate performance comparisons to be made, we publish an annual Water Company Performance Report (WCPR). We also publish the underlying data used in the report and a dashboard that allows users to understand company performance trends over time. 

The WCPR collates information reported by individual companies’ APRs together into a single place, making comparisons between companies easier and enabling stakeholders to better understand the performance of the sector as a whole. We categorise company performance as either ‘leading’, ‘average’, or ‘lagging behind’. When companies fall into the ‘lagging behind’ category, we require them to publish action plans to make sure they are putting the necessary improvements in place.  

Prior to 2021-22 the Water Company Performance Report was known as the ‘Service Delivery Report’. 


WCPR 2021-2022 report, underlying data and dashboard.
WCPR 2022-2023 report, underlying data and dashboard. 

What does Ofwat do to make sure the information in companies’ APRs is accurate? 

For customers and other stakeholders to have confidence in the information their company presents, companies must report their data accurately. Companies are responsible for the accuracy of the data reported in their APR which is also subject to third party audit. Where we believe data is inaccurate, we will go back to the company and ask them to submit the correct data. If we believe a company has deliberately misreported information, we can – and do – take enforcement action. 

Where can I find more information? 

The companies publish more information about their performance on Discover Water. This brings together key information about water companies in England and Wales in one place for customers. This includes visual information about some performance commitments that allows stakeholders to easily compare performance. It also includes additional performance information not covered by the WCPR.