Ofwat’s latest leakage figures reveals progress, but more could be done

Ofwat has released new figures that shed light on the water industry’s performance on reducing leakage.

The provisional figures show that three quarters of the companies are meeting their leakage targets and some have reduced leakage by more than 10% over the past two years.

Ofwat has strongly pushed companies to cut leakage over recent years, including challenging the sector to reduce leakage by at least 16% in the 5 year period up to 2025.

These new figures show that progress has been made, with industry wide leakage being reduced by 11% since 2017-18, heading towards the target of a 50% reduction by 2050. However, Ofwat believe there is more that can be done.

David Black, Ofwat CEO commented:

David Black, Ofwat CEO

“It is encouraging to see progress in tackling leakage, with some companies making significant reductions. We welcome the improvements companies have made in reducing leakage and it’s encouraging to see things heading in the right direction. That said, there is much further to go. In the drier weather we are all acutely aware of the impact of climate change and the value and importance of water. Customers rightly expect water companies to lead by example in caring for water and helping households to do the same.”

Water company leakage reduction (based on 3 year averages from the 2019-20 baseline)

Water company Leakage reduction*
Affinity Water 10.5%
Anglian Water 6.1%
Bristol Water 11.5%
Hafren Dyfrdwy 8.6%
Northumbrian Water 1.1%
Portsmouth Water 12.0%
SES Water 6.3%
Severn Trent 3.4%
South East Water 3.3%
South Staffs Water 7.2%
South West Water 6.0%
Southern Water 5.0%
Thames Water 10.2%
United Utilities 4.7%
Welsh Water 5.2%
Wessex Water 10.8%
Yorkshire Water 7.9%


*Figures are 3-year averages taken from water company annual performance reports (APRs). This includes provisional figures for 2021/22. Water companies will all be starting from different baseline leakage positions. Targets are set considering the water resource challenges within each companies’ region.


These provisional figures from the water companies will be validated by Ofwat over the coming months.

Further detail on water company performance on leakage will be available when Ofwat publishes the Service and Delivery Report 21-22 later this year.




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