Ofwat holds review into response to weather issues
Ofwat has announced that it is to conduct a review of the water supply issues experienced by customers across England and Wales during the recent severe weather conditions.
A number of companies had to urge customers to limit usage after the sub-zero temperatures and subsequent rapid thaw led to a wave of bursts and leaks.
Ofwat Chief Executive Rachel Fletcher said last week that several water companies "appear to have fallen well short" in their preparations and the regulator has now announced that it will hold a review into the matter.
It said the review will aim to:
- Establish what caused the water supply issues experienced by household and business customers across England and Wales
- Evaluate water companies’ preparedness in the run up to the recent period of cold weather, including whether they planned ahead sufficiently to ensure they had in place the right resources and processes
- Examine the quality of the support provided to customers, particularly those in vulnerable circumstances
- Look at the way in which companies communicated with affected household customers and businesses
- Consider the adequacy of the compensation that companies are offering affected customers.
Ofwat said it will seek input from household and business customers who were directly affected by supply issues, public representatives, community organisations and local authorities.
It added: "Once the findings of the review have been published, Ofwat will consider whether any further regulatory action is needed, for example if there is any evidence that a company may have breached any of its statutory obligations or licence conditions."
Fletcher said: “To be left without a vital public service like water – in some cases for several days – is deeply distressing, particularly for those in vulnerable circumstances.
"Through this review, we are aiming to get to the bottom of why this happened and to identify what lessons can be learned so customers experience minimum disruption in these kinds of circumstances in future.
“We’ll find out where companies did well by their customers and where they’ve fallen short, including the compensation being offered to those who were directly affected.
"Water companies should ensure that compensation adequately reflects the scale of inconvenience and distress caused to their customers. Compensation should be fair, fast and free from hassle for customers.”
- Ofwat 'slightly nervous' over Defra's steer in Water Bill Ofwat welcomes the strategic policy steer it is receiving from Defra but is "slightly nervous" about the... Read More >
- Water companies told to 'rigorously validate' customer data Open Water has urged the water companies to "rigorously validate" their data so they can accurately identify... Read More >
- ‘Untapped potential' hidden in water utility data UK water utilities have barely started to realise the potential of data in terms of strategy and business transformation,... Read More >
- Meeting AMP7 leakage targets Damian Crawford, head of smart networks & leakage at Stantec, discusses how becoming data-rich and knowledge-smart can... Read More >
- Rewarding excellence WWT content director Alec Peachey looks ahead to next year's Water Industry Awards. Read More >
- Achieving zero interruptions and leakage Rik Gunderson, UK utility director at Software AG, looks ahead to WWT's Water Industry Innovation Conference. Read More >
- Abstract concept: How can water companies reduce abstraction? Despite concerns over supplies, water companies face pressure to reduce abstraction. As part of our Utility of the Future... Read More >
- Under pressure: Tackling leakage in new networks Leakage in new pipelines represents a significant problem but, working alongside Scottish Water, Ant Hire Solutions has... Read More >