Water UK reports that the average household water and sewerage bill in England and Wales for 2016-17 will be £389 – an increase of £2 (less than 1%) compared with the previous year. Despite this small increase, water and sewerage companies will deliver a 5% average drop in real terms in prices between 2015 and 2020.
Contrast this with America where the price of water is lower but rising much faster. The price of water has risen 41 percent since 2010, and sewer prices and fees have risen even more dramatically during that time. PBS Newshour reports that researchers at Michigan State University are predicting that the average monthly water bill in America of $120 will rise by $49 over the next five years, and that this is going to create economic challenges for a third of American households – 40 million are going to have to reduce expenditure in other categories to pay for their water in future. Note that there are wide variations across America: a family of four using 100 gallons per person per day will pay as much as $876 a year in Atlanta.
In the UK, regulator Ofwat approves water companies’ levels of charging and investment plans. That investment will total £44 billion over the next 5 years against some challenging targets:
- Saving 370 million litres of water a day by tackling leakage and promoting efficiency
- 32% reduction in the time that interruptions affect the supply of water
- 33% fewer properties flooded by wastewater from sewers
- 1 million more people will get help in paying their bills
i2O is helping many UK utilities to achieve these objectives cost effectively, and looks forward to doing the same in America.