In a new paper, Time to pull the plug on the water privatisation model, Professor Sir Dieter Helm says the current water model needs an overhaul: “The sheer scale of public anger is a once-in-a-30-year opportunity to put it right, reform properly and create a new model that lasts,” he said.
He calls for:
- A clear and unambiguous statement of objectives from Government.
- Actions by water companies to secure a social licence to operate, including “reasonable salaries and rewards; no financial engineering; simple corporate structures; transparent third-party reporting; and executive accountability of failures”.
- Integrated catchment plans to achieve the objectives at least cost via competitive cross-sector bidding for delivery work, overseen by a catchment planner.
- A recasting of regulatory institutions to deliver the objectives on a catchment basis.