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Published

25th March 2020

Knowledge Type

Case study Lessons learned report

Organisation

, National Audit Office

Major Project

Water Supply and Demand Management

Authors

Jonathan Norman

Of Interest To

Academia Consultants Contractors Leadership teams Private sector clients Public sector clients

Water Supply and Demand Management

Summary

Water companies’ long-term progress on tackling leakage and reducing water consumption has stalled over the past five years, and companies are only now starting to develop bulk water transfer solutions at the scale required. The government has been grappling with these issues for more than a decade but rapid progress is now vital for Defra to deliver on its objective of a resilient water supply. Defra has taken positive steps to give a more strategic focus to water resource planning. But it must make sure that its new national framework and Ofwat’s new funding for companies to develop strategic solutions produce the collaboration and prompt action from water companies that is now needed. Defra will not be able to achieve value for money unless it provides stronger leadership across government, and a much clearer sense of direction to water companies, the water regulators and water consumers.