Ofwat has issued a statement on financial resilience in the water sector, seeking to provide reassurance following recent media reports, especially concerning Thames Water. The regulator says that “overall, the sector is continuing to attract international capital and is especially attractive to long term investors such as pension funds. Indeed, there has been an additional equity injection of around £2bn since 2020, with companies acting to strengthen their financial position.”
However, the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee has called a public hearing on 12 July to cross examine senior management from Ofwat and Thames Water and Minister Rebecca Pow on the causes of Thames Water’s problems and potential solutions; whether other water firms face similar difficulties; and the regulation and legal oversight of water utilities.
There was more bad news this week for the beleaguered company as Henley regatta organisers complain of sewage pollution from Thames Water. It has also been fined £3.3m for a “reckless” incident in which millions of litres of undiluted sewage was pumped into rivers near Gatwick, killing 1,700 fish.
On the bright side, at least the London Super Sewer has a new underground flower garden.