England experienced this summer severe droughts and extreme heat. The Green Party has called for an immediate enforcement order on water companies along with a cut to executive pay and dividends. Their biggest request is to bring the water supply back into public ownership as soon as possible.
The party pointed to monopoly enterprises losing between a quarter and a fifth of the water due to unrepaired leaks.
Every day 3 thousand million litres of water are wasted in the UK
According to Maintain Drains, the most wasteful companies throw away more water than they provide to their clients. As they mention in their site “Britain’s network of water pipes is riddled with leaks”:
Adrian Ramsay, co-leader of the Green Party commented:
“As the country faces a severe drought and people are asked to cut their water use, more than three billion litres of clean water are wasted every day due to a network of pipes riddled with leaks. […] It’s time to hold the water companies and the water regulator to account and see some firm action against this scandal”.
Maintain Drains explained that since many of the leaks are far from the town centers, it is cheaper to leave the gushes than to repair them. Critics of water businesses highlight the lack of regulation and competition in the industry.
“We need to take the water supply back into public ownership”
The Green Party also demanded to cut dividends in the companies and ensure bosses earn no more than ten times the salary of the lowest paid in their firms:
“The water industry cannot continue to be rewarded for failure. The £57billion paid out in dividends over the last 30 years and hugely inflated salaries of water bosses should have gone towards plugging the leaks. Instead of these companies being awash with profits and leaking funds towards shareholders.”Adrian Ramsay5t
Ultimately, their solution is to renationalize water companies. For Carla Denyer, co-leader of the Green Party, the privatization experiment failed. She wrote:
“If we are going to end leaks and stop sewage from going into rivers and ending up on our coastline, we need to take the water supply back into public ownership, run for the benefit of the public, rather than shareholders.”
Denyer added: “Only the government can intervene at the scale required to avoid a catastrophe this winter.”
For her, the future of greener and lower bills is not only renationalizing water, but also the main energy firms.