Ofwat publishes water strategy

Ofwat has published a new strategy setting out plans for regulation of water and sewerage over the next three years.

The water watchdog said it would examine ways to better protect consumers, ensure more robust corporate accountability, and promote transparency and undergird long term sustainability.

Ofwat's 'Taking a Forward Look' strategy sets out its commitment to regulate prices and services where competition is not possible or strong enough to protect customers.

It is also looking to promote open markets to competition.

Ofwat?s budget for 2008-09 is £17.9 million, an increase from the previous figure of £13.7 million.

Ofwat chairman Philip Fletcher said: "The water and sewerage sectors face tough new challenges in serving water consumers.

"Each company must cater for changing populations and rising consumer expectations while also mitigating and adapting to the effects of climate change.

"We need to change how we regulate to help companies meet these new challenges. Our strategy is the first step in this direction."

Tony Smith, chief executive of the Consumer Council for Water, welcomed the new strategy, claiming that it echoes their policy of keeping consumers at the heart of their operations.

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