UK water firms launch green indicators

Meacher welcomes first industry sector initiative to develop environmental indicator set

The UK water industry yesterday launched a set of 25 environmental indicators and committed itself to developing a more comprehensive sustainability indicator set. Environment minister Michael Meacher welcomed the initiative, which he said was the first by a British industry sector to respond to the government's programme to develop sustainable development indicators (ENDS Daily 10 December 1999).

Prepared on behalf of the country's 14 water and sewerage service providers and 14 water suppliers, UK Water's indicator report proposes measures of environmental progress in four categories: water services, environmental management, environmental performance, and energy and materials. The association said it would now seek to make regular further reports on this baseline to enable trends to be identified.

Among the indicators proposed is leakage from the water supply network. The association estimates that nearly one quarter of water put into the system never gets to consumers. Drinking water quality has improved, with 99.63% of samples now passing legal standards set in EU law. Other indicators include numbers of convictions of water businesses for environmental offences, quality of river and bathing waters, energy use and carbon dioxide emissions. Further indicators are still under development.

Follow Up:
Water UK, tel: +44 20 7344 1844 and press release.

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