Water companies must do more to plan for the long-term to remain financially resilient

Posted: Tuesday 19th December 2017

Water companies must do more to plan for the long-term if they are to have the financial resilience to deal with challenges they face now and in the future, Ofwat has cautioned.

In its second, annual Monitoring Financial Resilience report, Ofwat has compiled and published information about all water companies as part of its efforts to boost transparency about the water sector's financial arrangements.

Ofwat is urging all water companies to deliver resilience in the round, by focussing not just on the resilience of their assets and processes, but also on their financial resilience. But the report highlights that five companies' long-term viability statements only stretch to 2020. The need for long-term planning is all the more necessary as we approach what will be a challenging new price review period, which begins in 2020. To manage that challenge, Ofwat is warning companies they need to be preparing themselves now and getting in shape for that new era.

Speaking at the publication of the report, Ofwat Senior Director, Aileen Armstrong, said:

"We've been calling for greater transparency in the sector and today we help to deliver that by shining a light on water companies' finances. The report shows that companies are responding to the challenges of the current price control - and we will ensure that customers benefit from improvements in services. But companies can do more to demonstrate how they are planning for the future - companies should be planning now to ensure that they are ready for the challenges of the coming price review. Looking ahead to 2020 doesn't qualify as long-term planning for businesses whose assets last hundreds of years."

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