Water Consumers – Today and Tomorrow

Aligning the short and long-term interests of water and sewerage consumers

This discussion paper explores the potential of bringing the short and long-term consumer interests in the water and sewerage sectors closer together. In so doing, it touches on the post-privatisation industry arrangements and structures in England and Wales and the relevant policy and regulatory frameworks. Approaches to incorporating the interests of future consumers in decision making and the issue of inter-generational equity are explored.

The core question which the paper seeks to address is how to achieve a sustainable balance between short and longer-term investment considerations, affordability and the expected need to change the way that sewerage and water-supply services are delivered in the context of the future management of uncertainty from, for example, potential flooding and drought risks and population growth. This is not a ‘business-as-usual’ world.