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Water industry 'must invest more in innovation'

Water companies should invest more in research and development in order to meet the needs of the 21st century, according to a new report.

The Council for Science and Technology study claims that funds allocated to research and development in the water industry are low.

It states that the water industry has £3 billion worth of capital investment a year, of which just £18 million, or 0.5 per cent, is spent on research and development.

Project convenor professor Michael Sterling said that much of the existing water infrastructure is the result of innovation in Victorian times.

He added: "The water companies have made progress over the last fifteen years becoming more efficient and meeting increasingly stringent regulatory standards. However, the industry needs to do more if it is to be world class and supply the nation?s water needs in the most efficient and environmentally friendly way."

According to industry body Water UK, water is where the impacts of climate change will be felt first.

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