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Ofwat (the Water Services Regulation Authority) is the economic regulator of the water sector for England and Wales. It is a non-ministerial government department established in 1989 when the water and sewerage industry in England and Wales was privatised.

The UK and Welsh Governments provide policy direction to Ofwat through statutory strategic statements. Ofwat must act in accordance with the statements when carrying out its functions and is required to report on the steps they have taken in response.

On 28 March 2022, the Government published its latest strategic policy statement (SPS) for Ofwat. It replaced the previous SPS issued in 2017 and sets out four key priorities:

  • protect and enhance the environment
  • deliver a resilient water sector
  • serve and protect customers
  • use markets to deliver for customer

This briefing provides an overview of the latest strategic priorities for Ofwat and reaction to the policy statement ahead of the debate on 9 June 2022.

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