Ofwat has revealed that water and wastewater companies are falling behind on their investment plans, leaving promised service improvements behind schedule or undelivered.

Ofwat, as part of the price review process, sets allowances for how much companies can invest over the price control period, to maintain and improve its water network. Between 2020 and 2022 (the first two years of PR19), 14 companies underspent their budget on improving their water network and eight companies underspent their budget for improving their wastewater network.

Affinity Water and Northumbrian Water spent just 47% and 48% of their water enhancement allowance respectively, and Yorkshire Water and South West Water spent just 20% and 39% of their wastewater enhancement allowance respectively.

The main areas of underspend across both categories include drought resilience, improvements to sewage treatment works, improvements to storm tank capacity and reducing spill frequency.

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