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Thames Water commits an additional £700m to improve water supplies

Thursday 11th May 2023 10:00

Pipe replacement in central London

Pipe replacement in central London

  • Thames Water is investing millions to upgrade its Victorian infrastructure, bringing it up to date for the 21st century 
  • Ofwat, the water industry economic regulator, has approved £300m for the UK’s largest water company to improve the performance of its water service in London  
  • Thames Water shareholders have also matched this, committing £400m to water improvement works in London, Thames Valley and the Home Counties   
  • Work is now underway to replace 112km of water distribution mains and seven large trunk mains across the city  
  • The investment will reduce leaks across London and once upgrades are complete will save around 11 Olympic swimming pools worth of water every day   
Thames Water has been given the go ahead for its ambitious plans to transform London’s network of Victorian water pipes, having met additional requirements set out by industry regulator Ofwat.  
At Price Review 19 (PR19) the regulator conditionally granted the company £300 million to enhance the performance of its London water network. Thames Water has since met the agreed requirements and committed a significant shareholder investment of £400 million that will benefit customers across the region through investment in water supply. 
The £300 million conditional allowance investment will now be pumped into future-proofing London’s pipework, helping to reduce leaks and protect our water supply.  
In line with Ofwat’s approval, Thames Water has agreed to three new performance commitments for the 2020-2025 price control period, supporting efficient and timely delivery of the schemes associated with this allowance. These include:  
  1. Reducing the number of leaks across London by 2030 – saving 27.8 megalitres per day and reducing the number of mains repairs by 208 times per year  
  2. Delivering our Future London Strategy – including ambitious plans to reduce leakage by 50% 
  3. Assessing pipework across the city to see if it's fit for the future  
Nevil Muncaster, London Operations Director at Thames Water, said: “Fixing the basics is a key part of our ambitious turnaround plan. We’ve faced one of our most challenging years to date with the drought and extremely hot weather placing immense pressure on water pipes across our region, ultimately leading to an increase in leaks.  


“The impact of climate change and increasing population size is evident, which is why we’re committed to upgrading London’s Victorian pipes, investing millions to ensure our infrastructure is fit for the 21st Century.  
“We are always closely assessing our infrastructure and are pleased that Ofwat backed our business case to replace 112km of our leakiest water mains pipes across London. We believe in making every drop count and once complete this ambitious project with help us to save 27.8 megalitres of water every single day- that's equivalent to 11 Olympic sized swimming pools.” 
“Our shareholders have also provided a substantial £400 million investment to ensure we can improve our operations and outcomes for customers, whilst increasing our resilience.”  


The investment into the Capital’s water infrastructure has been welcomed by the Greater London Authority (GLA). 
Shirley Rodrigues, London Deputy Mayor for Environment and Energy, said: “It is right that Thames Water continues to invest in London’s water infrastructure, and this much-needed funding will help bring the ageing system into the 21st Century, tackle leaks and save water. However, whilst this investment is welcome, we are in a climate emergency and there is still more work to be done to give Londoners the water supply network they deserve.”