An investigation by Greenpeace has found that the Environment Agency said South West Water was ‘not honest’ about the risk to water supplies during the 2022 drought.

From the investigation……..

We’ve uncovered some damning Environment Agency documents in which the watchdog discusses how unprepared one water company was for the record-breaking heatwave that hit the UK in the summer of 2022.

That company is South West Water, which provides drinking water to around 3.5m people living in some of the hottest parts of the UK – and which received a record fine for sewage pollution last year.

The EA warned that South West Water was “not honest” with regulators about its drought projections and the risks posed to its water supplies. In a damning email, the EA said the company had “acted too late” in response to the drought, which “presented a genuine risk of loss of supply” to some customers.

The regulator also said that the company didn’t properly understand its own water supply system.

The news comes after Pennon Group, the listed company that owns South West Water, increased its interim payout to shareholders by 8.3%, despite the water company reporting a fall in profits last year.

You can read our investigation here

SWW said that they “strongly reject any suggestion that we were not adequately prepared for the risk of drought or that we did not operate in good faith with the regulators.”

The story is a follow up to our investigation from last summer which showed that parts of England almost ran out of water during the heatwave.

Also reported in the Guardian

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