Stee Mogford out on siteAs the North West’s water and wastewater company, we help life flow smoothly for seven million people and 200,000 businesses.

We work behind the scenes, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, to provide excellent quality water to our customers, and to take away and treat their wastewater, before returning it to the environment.

Our infrastructure is vast: 42,000 kilometres of clean water pipes; 76,000 kilometres of sewers, 170 reservoirs; 93 water treatment works and 570 wastewater treatment works. We also look after more than 55,000 hectares of catchment land, much of it in areas of great natural beauty.

Behind our operation is a 5,000+ strong workforce, with diverse skills and talents, and a commitment to delivering great customer service.

The majority of our customers usually only think about us when their bill arrives. We recognise the financial pressures that many families remain under, as the region slowly recovers from the economic downturn.

That’s why our five year business plan (2015-2020) has affordable bills and value for money at its heart. It has been informed by a major consultation exercise, in which more than 27,000 customers and stakeholders were asked about their priorities. The result is a plan which strikes an appropriate balance between giving our network the investment it needs for the future and our customers’ ability to pay.

Over the next five years, this plan will see over £3 billion invested to make our network more resilient to the effects of climate change, to maintain our high standards of water quality, to reduce sewer flooding and to protect the environment.

We face a number of challenges as we enter this next regulatory period, including a more competitive commercial landscape, and strict new environmental legislation.

New EU bathing water standards, for example, present a major challenge for our region, with a lot at stake, from both a reputation and economic position, if the North West fails to make the grade. We’ve been playing our part for a number for years - investing more than £250 million since 2010 – and will continue to make our contribution to help drive up bathing water standards in the coming years.

Part of the process of maintaining a reliable service for our customers involves long term planning, and we recently published our 25 year strategy – an informed, future gazing exercise.

The long-term forecast for the North West is a largely optimistic one, with a predicted surplus in water supplies and a relatively young, good condition, water network.

By maintaining a reliable day-to-day service; keeping bills affordable and ensuring that every penny we invest delivers maximum benefits to the region, we will continue to play our part for a proud and prosperous North West.

If you would like to send us a comment about this report, please email our Head of Sustainability, Chris Matthews