Regulator to investigate South West Water leakage performance data

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The UK’s water regulator has launched a new investigation into South West Water over whether it accurately reported its leakage performance.

The supplier was targeted by Ofwat last year in an investigation into its environmental performance and sewage treatment works.

Ofwat said it will be carrying out a “thorough” investigation into the firm’s leakage reporting and per capita consumption – referring to the average household’s water use.

Suppliers are under pressure to reduce the amount of water lost through leaks in the water pipeline network, with a Government target to cut leakage by 50% by 2050.

Some 20% of public water supply is being lost through leaks, according to the Government’s Plan For Water set out last month.

Climate change leading to more prolonged droughts and growing demand for water means there could be a gap between supply and demand in the future if suppliers do not cut waste and improve water efficiency.

David Black, Ofwat’s chief executive, said: “We are committed to holding companies to account for performance and for sharing timely, accurate and complete data with us and their customers.

“We want to ensure that is the case here. A thorough investigation will now be carried out and we will provide updates in due course on our findings and whether there is any further action Ofwat needs to take.”

Ofwat said it would not provide any further information on the investigation until it reached a conclusion.

South West Water has previously been in trouble for sewage spills and faced fines from the regulator.

There were around 300,000 sewage spills in 2022 in England, according to data from the Environment Agency.

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