Wednesday, July 12, 2006

More... Thames Water ...leaks.

I read in a paper today (newspaper, that is, although it was the Metro) that Thames Water has unveiled plans to accelerate its pipe replacement program. They will spend an extra £150M over the next two years two years. This should help with the current leakage problem (the equivalent of the water required to fill 76 Olympic-sized swimming pools a day). However that level of savings wont happen until 2010, by which time RWE will have sold off Thames Water and London will be turned into a brown barren wasteland, just in time for the Olympics.

On the face of it any increase in the rate of repairs will be good for London. That is if you ignore the inevitable road closures, delays & failure to complete sections on time. Never mind that this plan was put in place to avoid a fine from Offwat, and presumably to avoid the risk of future fines.

Considering their £346.5M of pre-tax profit for the pervious financial year, the investment does not seem particularly large. Especially as much of that profit was derived from huge rises to water rates, the permission for which was obtained from Offwat in order to repair the leaky pipe network (they somehow forgot about that at dividend time).

Despite meeting our leakage target outside London, leakage in the capital remains unacceptably high, and we acknowledge that more work needs to be done to continue to reduce it.
- Jeremy Pelczer, Managing Director, Thames Water Utilities

The most effective and sustainable way to bring leakage down in London is to replace the Victorian mains network. This is why we undertook 20 per cent more work putting new pipes in the ground in 2005/6 than was originally planned.
- Jeremy Pelczer, Managing Director, Thames Water Utilities

If Jeremy Pelczer was really committed to repairing the infrastructure, surely Thames Water would spend £180M and complete the work in 1 year! I actually find myself agreeing with the Liberal Democrats on this issue.
Thames Water should be using more of their huge profits to speed up their current pipe replacement programme. Clearly something radical must be done to reinvest some of that money to save London's dwindling water supply.
- Mike Tuffrey - Liberal democrat Environment Spokesman

More Pants propaganda

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