Financing the industry
The water industry is a capital intensive, long-term sector, with over £130 billion invested by companies in England and Wales since privatisation in 1989.
Over £10 billion of public funding has also been provided for investment in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Because of this investment, customers can rely on water and sanitation services that are among the best in the world.
There have also been many environmental benefits – for example our rivers and beaches are cleaner than they have been since the Industrial Revolution. This, in turn, has enabled wider economic and social benefits such as jobs in the leisure and tourism sector.
Looking forward, the UK water industry has many challenges ahead, such as the impacts of climate change and population growth. Water industry infrastructure needs continuous monitoring, maintenance, repair or replacement.
To do this, while keeping bills as low as possible for customers, the industry must continue to attract significant annual investment globally, and it is vital that water companies are able to do this as efficiently as possible. The UK water industry plans to invest at least £5 billion a year for the next five years.