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Page last updated at 08:44 GMT, Thursday, 26 November 2009

Water price cuts 'could stop leak programmes'

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The chief executive of the body which represents the UK's water companies says that a reduction in water bills might prevent suppliers from dealing with leaks and damage investment.

The comments, from Water UK's Pamela Taylor, come after the water regulator, Ofwat, announced that the average water bill in England and Wales will fall by about £3, before inflation, over the next five years.

Interviewed on today's programme Ms Taylor said that although it was to early to know what the final impact of the move might be, she would not disagree with a statement from Thames Water which said that the price reductions would mean that it would not be able to reduce leakage and would not be able to invest.

She told presenter James Naughtie that "water companies are no different from any other companies. Massive investment is needed and will be needed," adding that they would be looking for "sensible long-term investors".

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