The UK’s water companies will pour a total of £2.7bn into environmental improvements over the next five years, it was announced this morning.
On top of £1.9bn of pre-planned spending, sector regulator Ofwat has this morning approved an extra £793m of investment.
The watchdog said that the additional spending would “allow water companies to take extra action on the most pressing environmental issues”.
It comes just days after a report from the Environment Agency revealed that two of the country’s biggest water suppliers were “consistently unacceptable” when it came to environmental performance.
Environment minister Rebecca Pow said that the investment would “be vital in driving forward our green recovery”.
“Water companies must step up and deliver on the most pressing issues facing our environment – including water quality.”
Under the final decisions, Severn Trent Water will invest £566m in total, including £169m to make improvements to water quality in 500km of rivers.
In addition to their prior spending plans, Thames Water will invest up to £72m more, South West Water will invest up to £82m, United Utilities will invest £64m and South Staffs Water £10m.
David Black, interim chief executive of Ofwat said: “This huge package of investment will help the environment while providing a significant economic stimulus and offer thousands of extra jobs and training opportunities – delivering a boost when it’s needed most.
“I look forward to seeing the companies delivering on this ambition and bringing forward lasting environmental improvements for current and future generations.”