Our five year business plan
At Cambridge Water we are proud of providing a constant supply of safe, clean drinking water. Our household customers have the second lowest bills in England and Wales, while benefitting from the highest levels of customer service, as measured by our regulator Ofwat.
All this is achieved against the backdrop of operating in one of the driest and fastest growing areas of the UK and demonstrates our ability to plan for the future, while maintaining affordable prices.
The following is a summary of how we perform:
- Geographical summary
Cambridge Water supplies high quality drinking water to a population of 320,000 and covers an area of 453 square miles.
This includes Cambridge city and extends to the surrounding towns and villages of Ramsey and St Ives in the north, Gamlingay in the west, Balsham in the east and Melbourn in the south.
The company operates in one of the driest areas of the UK. We have less rainfall here than in Barcelona.
We also operate in one of the fastest growing areas with our population predicted to increase by 130,000 over the next 25 years.
- Customer service
Cambridge Water has always prided itself on delivering the highest levels of customer service. The saying "small enough to care, large enough to cope" is particularly true of our company ethos.
In 2010 the SIM was introduced by Ofwat, which is designed to encourage the water and sewerage sectors in England and
Wales to improve the quality of service they provide. It is based on two consumer experience measures.
- A quantitative measure based on the number of complaints and unwanted contacts a company receives.
- A qualitative measure (one based on the quality of the experience) derived from a consumer experience survey.
These two measures aim to capture both the number of times a company fails to meet the expectations of its consumers, as well as the experience of those consumers. You can find more information about the SIM here.
- Water quality
Cambridge Water delivers some of the highest quality water to its customers.
Each year we take more than 25,000 samples of water at treatment works, reservoirs and homes across the region.
The Drinking Water Inspectorate's report outlines the stringent national and European standards covering safety, appearance and taste of drinking water. You can access the latest report here
- Leakage targets
Each year Cambridge Water refurbishes more than 10km of existing mains and repairs around 200 leaks at people's homes. Our new water efficiency strategy means we aim to repair any significant leaks within two days of them being reported to us. We also schedule the renewal, refurbishment and relining of old mains before they cause problems.
Between 2006 and 2009 the company also expanded its district metering areas (DMAs) to cover Cambridge city and the surrounding villages. The DMAs not only allow the company to detect leaks quicker; they also allow us to record how much water is being used by our customers.
All this work means Cambridge Water consistently meet the leakage target of 14 Ml/d set by the industry regulator, Ofwat.
It is widely acknowledged that customers with a metered supply use between 10-15 per cent less water than those who are not on a meter, simply because they are more conscious of the water they use.
Over 65 per cent of Cambridge Water customers already have a water meter and the company plans to meter 88 per cent of properties over the next 25 years.