Industry and Regulators Committee
The affluent and the effluent: cleaning up failures in water and sewage regulation

1st Report of Session 2022-23 - published 22 March 2023 - HL Paper 166



Chapter 1: Introduction


Our inquiry

Structure of this report

Chapter 2: Water regulation and policy

Oversight of the water industry

Co-operation between the regulators

Co-operation across sectors and a National Water Strategy

Chapter 3: Ofwat

Ofwat’s statutory duties

Balancing objectives and making trade-offs

The Government’s Strategic Policy Statement

Chapter 4: Price Review and outcomes-based regulation

Price Review


Social tariffs

Outcomes-based regulation

Chapter 5: Storm overflows and water pollution

Storm overflows

Causes of storm overflow overuse and solutions

Combined sewage systems, the right to connect, and sustainable drainage systems

Wet wipes

Nature-based solutions to water pollution

Investment needed to address storm overflow overuse

Prioritising investment in storm overflows


Development of monitoring

Effectiveness of monitoring and enforcement

Open data

Government policy and strategy

Storm Overflows Discharge Reduction Plan

Chapter 6: Fines, penalties, and enforcement

Fines and penalties

Special administration and changes of ownership

Chapter 7: Debt, dividends, and financial resilience

Debt and dividends

Executive pay

Ownership models

Chapter 8: Future water supply

Water transfers


Changing consumer behaviour

Responsibility for changing consumer behaviour

Water metering


Summary of conclusions and recommendations

Appendix 1: List of Members and declarations of interest

Appendix 2: List of witnesses

Appendix 3: Call for evidence

Evidence is published online at and available for inspection at the Parliamentary Archives (020 7219 3074).

Q in footnotes refers to a question in oral evidence.

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