Private water shareholders make £6.5 billion

26 Jul 2018
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Our joint investigation with Corporate Watch into the accounts of private water companies show the average dividend and interest accrued for shareholders by each privatised water company in 2017 was £158 million.

Meanwhile, as millions face life under a hosepipe ban, our research revealed 2.4 billion litres of water is wasted through leaks every single day in England. 

These figures were released as part of our Take Back the Tap Campaign to bring England’s privatised water industry back into public ownership.

Last month, our figures showed the CEOs of the nine privatised water company trousered a whopping £58 million in salary, bonuses, pensions and other benefits over the past five years.

While shareholders pocketed these eye-watering sums, consumer water bills in England and Wales have increased by 40% above inflation since privatisation in 1989 according to a report by the National Audit Office.


Forking out billions to shareholders, while bills rocket and trillions of litres of water are wasted shows just how broken the system is.

We all need water, it’s not an optional extra, it’s absurd that something we all depend on is in private hands delivering eye watering pay outs instead of being run for the public good.

That’s why GMB is calling for the water industry to be brought back into public ownership.

Tim Roache, GMB General Secretary

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