Public water monopolies, managed by public officials, often with a supervisory board of elected representatives or senior civil servants, are presumed to operate on behalf of public interests and therefore, though sometimes requiring a leap of faith, the customer interest. Private water monopolies with long-term contracts, where there can be minimal competition for the market let alone in the market, necessarily require some form of regulation, economic and environmental, to maintain public interests. One mechanism to ensure that customer interests are also represented in the regulatory balance is to develop some form of customer involvement through customer committees or councils. The English and Welsh approach to customer involvement in water supply, presently in its fourth iteration as the newly independent Consumer Council for Water, now has to find its role within the framework of the Article 14 requirements of the European Water Framework Directive.

This content is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.