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Water Services: Kent

Volume 454: debated on Tuesday 5 December 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what impact the decision to allow Folkestone and Dover Water Services to require households to have water meters has had on (a) the number of households with water meters installed and (b) the volume of water used; and if he will make a statement. (107426)

Following Folkestone and Dover Water Services' successful application for water scarcity status, determined on 1 March 2006, the company is able to compulsorily meter its customers for the 10-year period from 1 April 2006. The company plans to begin using these additional powers from January 2007, so there has been no impact on the number of households metered or the volume of water used, as yet.

During 2005-06, Folkestone and Dover Water Services installed 1,441 optional household meters and 2,108 selective household meters. Ofwat reported that by the end of the 2005-06 reporting year, 45.7 per cent. of the company's households were metered.

The impact of the decision to grant water scarcity status to Folkestone and Dover Water Services on the number of households with water meters will be reported to Ofwat for the first full year of reporting in June 2007. The information will be published in Ofwat's annual report “Security of supply, leakage and water efficiency” next year. The company plans to have 90 per cent. of its households metered by the end of the 10-year period.

The company estimates that metering households can reduce their water usage by up to 15 per cent.