June 26, 2006
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I saw in Metro this morning that Thames Water have applied for a drought order. Which, given how much water is being lost across the region because of leaks (a case in point being the river coursing down Muswell Hill Road today), takes the piss. And all Ofwat can do is fine them 10% of turnover – but somehow they’ve had a 31% rise in profits and are planning to raise water bills by 24% over the next five years. Why can’t Ofwat put a freeze on prices? Fining companies just tempts them to raise prices to cover the fines, so in effect we’re paying the damn things. But if prices were frozen as long as the companies fail to deliver improvements to service, and continue to inconvenience us (and in some cases, possibly sending water-reliant businesses to the wall), surely then Thames Water would finally have some vague incention to pull their finger out?