Skip to main content

Government response to House of Lords report on the water industry

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: water
A view of the River Lune near Lancaster on a sunny day, with green fields and wooded slopes.

There has been coverage today about a letter from the House of Lords Industry and Regulators Committee to the Environment Secretary about the regulation of the water industry.

It covers a number of criticisms around the role of government, with a focus on investment, water supply, regulatory powers and enforcement.

The letter follows the Committee’s recent report on this topic, published in March, and follow-up evidence sessions held in the summer following the government’s Plan for Water.

In response, a Defra spokesperson said:

We take our oversight of the water industry incredibly seriously and firmly disagree with these conclusions.

We are delivering increased investment, stronger regulation, and tougher enforcement right across the sector. This includes being the first government to set ambitious targets for water companies to address storm overflows, which the High Court has ruled go even further than existing law.

We agree that more needs to be done. That’s why we are introducing unlimited penalties for polluters, driving the largest infrastructure programme in water company history, and have set clear expectations for water companies to deliver the changes that we all want to see.

Additionally, the report questioned delays in bringing forward a proposed ban of wet wipes containing plastic.

A Defra spokesperson said: 

We are committed to meeting the overwhelming public demand for a ban on wet wipes containing plastic. We are working closely with the devolved administrations to shortly launch a public consultation and to bring this ban into effect swiftly.


Sharing and comments

Share this page


  1. Comment by John w. Baxter posted on

    A load of rubbish….get mascerating,get some frontline staff on the front line by emptying the back offices, get real and stop blaming wet wipes for pump blockages, screen failures and sewer blockages when you have had years to come up with solutions with the likes of Procter and Gamble etc… are making us ill!.

  2. Comment by Michael Hughes posted on

    Preposterous defence. You have failed miserably. Privatisation of the water industry is a disaster. Too late now to introduce tougher regulations that were needed from the outset: the damage already done will take decades to rectify.