Cllr Moira Gibson,
Chairman,
Planning Committee
 
Guildford, U.K. --- (METERING.COM) --- August 27, 2008 – The South East England Regional Assembly's Planning Committee says that as water companies are bidding to increase customer bills by up to 25%, more must be done to guarantee supplies that meet the region's needs. The Assembly is a partnership of councils and communities in the South East, established in January 1999 to give a representative voice to the region.

The Planning Committee has called on government to ensure that water company plans set out how they will supply water to meet growth targets included in the South East Plan, a 20 year planning vision. It also argues that water regulator Ofwat should only fund new resource projects if companies agree to share their water supplies where needed to guarantee supply across the region.

Responding to water companies' consultation on their plans, the Committee called on the region's companies – Thames Water, Southern Water, Anglian Water, South East Water, Portsmouth Water, Sutton and East Surrey Water, Folkestone and Dover Water and Three Valleys Water – to:

  • Set more equally ambitious targets for installing water meters. Currently, targets vary between companies
  • Cooperate to share water resources more effectively across the region
  • Share good practice on water efficiency, tariffs and reducing carbon emissions – for example by making consumers more aware of their water use and how to cut costs
  • Work with the South East England Regional Housing Board to improve water efficiency standards in new and existing homes.

Planning Committee Chairman Cllr Moira Gibson said: "Generally, we don't really think about when and how we use water, but it is a valuable resource and as it becomes more expensive we need to act. We need to make sure water companies are planning ahead but residents, business, developers and water companies can also help by using water more sparingly. We all have to get 'water wise' because we don't want to reach the bottom of the well."