Natural England calls for water companies to ‘stand firm’ in their commitment to the natural environment

Posted: Thursday 21st May 2009

Natural England is continuing to voice its support for water companies and their role in protecting the natural environment.

Helen Phillips, Chief Executive of Natural England, said: “The review of water company prices has shown the real commitment of water companies to deliver environmental improvements. Water companies must now stand firm to ensure the natural environment remains a key part of their business plans.

“We expect the commitment to providing sustainable, high quality water supplies that are more resilient to drought and that safeguard wildlife and the natural environment to be clear from these business plans. Support for this work is now vital to helping these plans succeed.”

Dr Phillips’ comments follow-on from the publication of water company final business plans as part of Ofwat’s Periodic Review of Water Company pricing.

In its review of the plans, Natural England – the government’s wildlife advisor – has been supporting companies plans towards a major shift for improved management of water catchment areas in order to tackle water quality and resource problems at source. Natural England believes this approach would be more cost effective for consumers and would deliver wider public benefits such as improved biodiversity, better carbon and flood risk management, and better opportunities for access and recreation.

Natural England will publish its conclusions on the environmental suitability of the final business plans in early summer, to assist Ofwat in their draft determination of the plans in July this year.

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