Regulating a utility
A Water Services Association case study

Page 1: Introduction

We all rely upon having access to water throughout each day every day of our lives. Think how many times over a 24 hour period we use a tap, flush a toilet, fill a kettle, brush our teeth, cook, drink or wash. Industry also requires water to bring us all of the other goods and services we require for our daily needs. In these and many other ways water is an integral and essential part of our...
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Page 2: The external environment

The external environment within which water companies operate is complex. Water companies, like all organisations, have a prime responsibility to serve their stakeholders. These are not only individuals or groups who have a financial stake in an organisation, but also those likely to be affected by the consequences of that organisation’s activities. They may include shareholders, managers...
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Page 3: Customer Service Committees (CSCs)

Under the Water Act, ten regional OFWAT Customer Service Committees were established by the Director General. There is one Customer Service Committee for each region covering the water and sewerage company areas and incorporating the water supply companies which also fall in that area. The CSCs are independent of water companies. These committees represent the interests of customers and...
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Page 4: The cost of quality

Since privatisation the water industry has, more than at any other time in its past, been in full public view. Water Service Companies are undertakers providing an important public service and it is important that any regulatory system is seen to work efficiently. In most instances, regulatory bodies will share common expectations with each other. For example, all regulatory bodies support...
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Page 5: A period of change

The regulatory framework for Water Service Companies has contributed to the unprecedented change experienced by the water industry over recent years. Some of the changes are as follows:Fair charging methods for water services OFWAT believes that any charging method must be fair. The Director General has a duty to protect the interests of customers and, at the same time, provide the Water Service...
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Page 6: Conclusion

Regulation is a developing process and there are many different views about how well the water companies are operating within this demanding environment. These views may largely depend upon how each individual is influenced and this may be on several counts (e.g. as customers, shareholders, members of a community, etc.). However, at the sharp-end, despite all of the changes in the ways in which...
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Related: Water Services Association
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