Committee questions Secretary of State on sewage discharges and the water industry
The Industry and Regulators Committee will question the Rt Hon Thérèse Coffey MP, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, as part of its inquiry into the work of Ofwat, the regulator of the water industry in England and Wales. During the session, the Committee will consider whether the Government and the sector’s regulators have taken sufficient action to reduce sewage discharges from storm overflows. The Committee will also discuss whether Ofwat needs to ensure greater investment in the water sector, how to secure sufficient supplies of water in future, whether the Government has given the regulator clear enough guidance to make decisions on balancing levels of investment and customer bills, and whether current levels of support for those struggling to pay their water bills are fair and sufficient.
Possible questions include:
- Why have the Government and regulators failed to ensure a reduction in the levels of sewage discharged in the UK’s rivers and beaches?
- Should a single social tariff be introduced covering all water companies in England and Wales, so that the same support for those struggling to pay their bills is available regardless of postcode?
- Has Ofwat’s Price Review process delivered sufficient investment in the sector? Should strategic, significant infrastructure projects be delivered outside of the Price Review process?
- Are regulatory penalties and fines strong enough to act as a deterrent, particularly in relation to pollution incidents?