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Call to renationalise water industry

May 13, 2012 at 3:26 pm

An exclusive survey by Angus Reid for ‘The Express’ has revealed that 71% of Brits would prefer to renationalise the water industry. This comes at a time when Britain is under rigid drought restrictions, despite having had the wettest April since record began in 1910.

The survey by ‘The Express’ of over 2000 people showed that the highest support was from Brits over 55 (76%) who would like to see the water industry return to how it was in their youth. This was followed by a 72% supportive vote from the 35-55 age category. Geographically, the greatest backing came from people in the South East region, mainly London, who are covered by Thames Water.

This is not surprising as Thames Water is on the brink of calling for a ban of all non-essential water use. Thames Water has already imposed a hosepipe restriction, but the current state of things may see swimming pools and car washes temporarily closed in the summer (2012). Citizens in the South East are enraged by this, following reports that Thames Water is the worst offender for water leakage in Britain with rates of 25.7% outflow a day. The Express states that with the 665 million litres of water that Thames Water wastes a day due to leakages, they “could fill Wembley Stadium every 36 hours.”

Gary Smith, the national secretary of the GMB union, has launched an attack at water companies over this unacceptable issue. He demands that industry regulator Ofwat and the companies concerned are penalised for negligence of water management responsibility. He states “It cannot be repeated often enough that there is no shortage of water in Britain.” It is clear that the issue here concerns water management and distribution and that companies are failing to come through on the promises that privatisation was set to bring in the late 80’s.

A Defra spokesman said: “Since privatisation over £90billion pounds has been invested in the water industry to improve resilience and reduce pollution. Renationalisation would be a backward step and is not a solution to the problems we face.” Despite this, the water industry regulator has been reported to have said that water companies will not accept tougher targets on water leakages unless they can charge higher tariffs. With water bills in Britain already higher than Europe, this is another tick in favour of nationalisation.

It is now the responsibility of the government to investigate and review this issue.

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