What is WaterFuture?
Every five years, water companies submit their investment plans and proposed charges to the industry regulator Ofwat.
This is known as the Price Review. The next Price Review is in 2019 and it will determine prices for the period 2020-2025. South West Water refers to this as WaterFuture.
These are built on assessments of what each company needs to do to meet requirements placed on them by legislation such as the European Union’s Bathing Waters Directive and regulators including the Environment Agency and Drinking Water Inspectorate.
Companies carry out research on what customers and stakeholders such as councils and the business community see as priorities and investigate their ‘willingness to pay’.
Each company outlines its vision of the challenges it faces and its priorities before submitting a Business Plan including its own ideas to improve customer services and protect the environment. Ofwat studies these and the effect on charges before issuing its Draft and Final Determination of each company’s plan which sets price limits over the five years.
It is important to remember funds for investment do not come through central or local government. Every company must finance its investment proposals with revenue from customers and by attracting large scale investors such as pension funds and banks.