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Press Statement: Response to water company investment plans

Our response to PR24, the financial plans for England and Wales’ water companies from 2025 to 2030.

Rebecca Duncan


Today, water companies in England and Wales, have submitted their business plans for 2025-2030 (in a process known as Price Review 2024 (PR24)) to Ofwat, the industry economic regulator. Submission marks the start of Ofwat’s scrutiny of the plans. Formal ‘Your water, Your Say’ sessions will follow, and the review process ends with final determination in December 2024, before plan delivery starts in April 2025.

The individual company plans are not available for public scrutiny but Water UK, the trade association for the water industry, have summarised what is collectively in the submitted plans.

In the period 2025-2030 companies are proposing £96bn of investment in water and sewerage infrastructure, this is a near-doubling of investment made in the last 5-year review period (£51bn in PR19 for 2020-2025).

One of the biggest features in this review is the investment into the natural environment program (WINEP). In England, proposed investment would be £24.2 billion in 2025-2030, increasing around 4.5x from the £5.4 billion WINEP package in 2020-25.

Proposals have focussed on:

  • Reducing phosphorus in treatment plant emissions
  • Major spend to reduce Storm Overflows by 140,000 spills each year
  • Securing more water for supply through water transfer schemes and up to ten new reservoirs
  • Upgrading pipes to reduce leakage in England by 28% and 25% in Wales, by 2029/30.

In order to fund this investment programme, water companies want to be able to raise customer bills by an average of £156 per year by 2030. They have developed proposals to provide financial support to 3.2million customers who would struggle to meet bill increases.

Our Chief Executive, Mark Lloyd, has issued the following response to today’s announcement:

“The increased focus on investment to improve the environment, proposed by water companies today, is very much needed to restore and protect our rivers, lakes, and seas. We will continue to push for an ever greater emphasis on nature-based solutions which can help to address climate change and nature loss, as well as being part of resilient infrastructure.

“Whilst this is a welcome financial boost for the water environment after years of chronic underinvestment, public trust in water companies is at an all-time low. Customers will be asked to pay higher bills for these improvements, so the water industry and Ofwat must ensure that this customer money is spent transparently, responsibly, and cost-effectively.”

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