DON HILDRED, of Kingsway, Teignmouth, writes:

So the illustrious Directors of South West Water have banned all their customers from using a hosepipe until at least December this year. 

How can a Water Company that’s been subject to seven five-year regulatory reviews (capital investment plans) since 1989 be in a position where it seemingly cannot get the water that falls from the sky (the southwest is blessed with plenty of that!) into reservoirs that combined provide more than adequate storage for at least 18 months?

We pay more for water and wastewater services in the South West than other customers in England and Wales. The amount of water lost by South West Water through leakage is disgraceful, yet this does not stop SWW from throwing stones at customers’ homes from its glasshouse! 

Where are some proper measures whereby we, the paying customers, could see the actual performance? 

It’s not rocket science. A start would measure the ‘Average time to repair from the time of the first leak report’ by the district council area. Some companies back in the 1990s used to apply such measures internally, and they concentrated managers’ minds, which led to more boots on the ground with more significant numbers of repair crews.

So, where is the Water Regulator? It would appear that they don’t get their hands dirty doing anything when it comes to making water companies perform despite the fact that’s the Regulator’s role as water companies operate without competition!

This leads us to the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), the government department to whom OFWAT, the water regulator, is supposedly accountable!

When will our South West Members of Parliament step up and demand that the tawdry approach of OFWAT is rigorously confronted by the Secretary of State and that SWWs’ licence to provide water services is put on notice before the handsomely paid knaves running SWW cause us all to run out of water?

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