Water companies spend billions each year to protect and enhance the environment and to make sure they can provide water and wastewater services now and in the future.
The UK water sector continues to deliver many environmental benefits. For example, the effective treatment of wastewater and sewage means rivers and beaches are now cleaner than they have been since the Industrial Revolution. This enables wider economic and social benefits such as jobs in the UK's leisure and tourism sector.
The water sector, and indeed the UK overall, is facing a wide range of enormous and complex challenges and is working to secure the long-term resilience of water and sewerage supplies and services.
Climate change is bringing more volatile and extreme weather patterns. In just the past few years we have seen severe droughts, floods, and extremes of rainfall and cold weather. This has led to shortages and to too much water, sometimes both at once.
At the same time, environmental standards are getting even tougher, particularly around the quality of our rivers and bathing waters. This requires, for example, the highest standards of water treatment and well-maintained sewer networks.
Another big challenge facing many water companies is dealing with growth in population and housing. The UK's population is expected to rise by 10 million by the 2030s and another 10 million by around 2050.