Letter: The benefits of installing water meters

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The Independent Online
Sir: The suggestion (report, 21 February) that controlling leakage from water mains in areas such as those served by Anglian Water would be financially more beneficial than installing water meters overlooked three crucial points.

First, although we already have one of the lowest leakage rates in the UK and are continuing to make further reductions, there are clearly physical and cost-efficiency limits to what can be achieved. Our investigations show that a significant proportion of the present loss occurs in customers' own supply pipes and not on the company's mains. An additional benefit of metering is that it helps to identify these losses.

Second, as the only regional water services company committed to metering domestic customers, our metering initiative will be carried out in conjunction with our mains rehabilitation and renovation programme. This will serve to reduce substantially the cost of installing meters.

Third, however successful we are at reducing leaks, that will not be sufficient in the long term to provide for continued growth in demand for water, which in the Anglian region has doubled over the last 25 years. A 15 per cent reduction across our region is equivalent to a new Grafham Water, our second largest reservoir.

Yours faithfully,

CHRIS MELLOR

Group Finance Director,

Anglian Water

Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire

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