NI Water has published its annual report for 2017/18 detailing how it is delivering its ambitious business plan.
NI Water CEO, Sara Venning said, “As outlined in our report, every aspect of life in Northern Ireland relies on the water and wastewater services we provide. Our business is essential to support a thriving population, a growing economy and a flourishing environment.
“To continue to do so however, we must be adequately funded.
“NI Water is not immune from public expenditure cuts and uncertainty over funding. This places progress on efficiencies at risk and could result in tangible impacts on service delivery, the local economy and the environment.
“Our PC15 business plan started from a constrained capital expenditure position with £990m of public expenditure budget available against an investment requirement of £1.7bn. Further public expenditure cuts over PC15 mean that around £55m of projects will not be delivered.
“These are projects such as new water mains or upgraded wastewater treatment plants needed to connect new houses and underpin wider economic growth. This has been highlighted very recently by the fact that several areas of Northern Ireland face the prospect of curbs on development as the result of capacity issues in the sewerage networks.
“We fully support the Department for the Economy’s proposals to build the best economic infrastructure and appreciate the support we have received from elected representatives from all parties who recognise the essential nature of the services we provide. NI Water will continue to work with them and all our stakeholders to build the infrastructure needed for the 21st century.”
The report coincides with the third year of a six-year price control period. Among the many highlights are:
- Delivery of the best ever levels of service to our customers including the best ever drinking water quality and near record levels of wastewater compliance;
- Battling through sub-zero temperatures and snowstorms in February and March 2018 to keep customers supplied. Leakage was higher than targeted, primarily due to higher bursts caused by this bad weather. A range of measures are being taken to support delivery of our leakage reduction target over the 2015-21 period;
- Like all water companies, we realise that the extent and size of the network we operate means there is a risk of pollution incidents occurring. For this reason, we are set stringent targets by the Utility Regulator to reduce pollution incidents, and whilst these targets have been consistently met and exceeded since 2008, on those rare instances when an incident does arise, such as at Maghera in February 2017, it is a matter of the utmost regret to no one more than ourselves;
- Acquisition of Kelda Water Services’ holdings in four treatment plants that provide almost half of the treated water in Northern Ireland;
- Continuing to keep bills affordable – we announced below inflation tariff increases for business customers in 2018/19 reflecting improvements in efficiency and external cost pressures such as rising energy prices;
- Construction of our first solar farm at Dunore Point on the shores of Lough Neagh, as part of our efforts to increase renewable energy usage from 13% in 2012/13 to 40% by 2021; and
- Receiving support from the two main political parties in in Northern Ireland who wrote to the Secretary of State expressing the need for appropriate funding.
Copies of the Annual Report are available online at https://www.niwater.com/annual-report-2018/
To provide a sense of scale, every day NI Water provides 570 million litres of great tasting, safe drinking water and recycles 340 million litres of wastewater. Thousands of assets, at a value approaching £3 billion, are operated and maintained to provide these services. This includes over 40,000 kilometres of water mains and sewers - one and half times longer than Northern Ireland’s entire road network.
Click on the video below to hear from our CEO Sara Venning
For further information, please contact NI Water’s Press Office on 02890 354710 or email press[DOT]office[AT]niwater[DOT]com