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UK: Key topics concerning the water industry

  • United Kingdom
  • Energy and infrastructure - Water


Water abstraction reform

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has reiterated its commitment to introduce reform of the abstraction licensing regime. A recent briefing note on the Water Bill (as it then was) states that it is aiming to legislate early in the next Parliament (from 2015) with a view to implementation in the early 2020s.

Competition concurrency

On 1 April 2014, the Competition Act 1998 (Concurrency) Regulations 2014 came into force. The Regulations make provision for the Competition and Markets Authority and sectoral regulators who can exercise Competition Act functions concurrently with the CMA (which includes Ofwat) to co-ordinate the performance of those functions.

UK Regulators Network

Economic regulators in the UK have combined to form the UK Regulators Network (UKRN), in order to improve coordination across regulated sectors to enhance investment and efficiency to deliver customer benefits.

The Sentencing Guidelines for Environmental Offences

The Sentencing Guidelines for Environmental Offences have now been published and will be in use in Courts in England and Wales from 1 July 2014. They are likely to lead to larger fines for corporate offenders with fine ranges going up to £3 million plus the ability to move above this range where necessary for ‘very large organisations’.

Supreme Court decision on nuisance claims

A recent Supreme Court ruling in relation to nuisance has potentially wide ranging implications for the way in which Courts are likely to deal with nuisance claims in the future. Whilst the case itself revolves around issues of noise nuisance specifically, it is likely to have implications for the way in which the courts will deal with a wide variety of nuisance claims in the future, including nuisance caused by odours.

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