Environmental protection

Cave Review: competition and innovation in water markets

This content is maintained by the independent Cave Review

Professor Martin Cave led an independent review of competition and innovation in water markets between March 2008 and April 2009. The Review published its final report on 22 April 2009 with recommendations to the UK and Welsh Assembly Governments and sectoral regulators (Ofwat, the Environment Agency and the Drinking Water Inspectorate). The UK Government responded to the final report in Budget 2009. The Welsh Assembly Goverment and other bodies will consider the Review’s recommendations and respond in due course.

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Why was it done?

The review brought forward the Government’s commitment to review the eligibility threshold for non-household customers to choose suppliers introduced as part of Water Act 2003. At the same time, it also undertook a wider review of the competition and innovation framework.

The review aims were to:

  • deliver benefits to both business and household customers. This could be through lower bills, better service and more responsive products; and
  • increase the efficiency and sustainability of water use; through assessing the scope for competition and innovation throughout the water and sewerage industries. It will recommend changes to the legislative and regulatory frameworks needed to deliver those benefits.

What happens now?

The UK and Welsh Assembly Governments and the sector regulators will consider the Review’s recommendations and respond in due course.

Cross subsidies, price structures and competition in the England and Wales water industry

The Cave and Walker reviews commissioned research on Cross subsidies, price structures and competition in the water industry (PDF, 1.4 MB) to inform work being undertaken by the two reviews. The project was commissioned in October 2008 from Reckon LLP. The steering group to the project comprised representatives from the Cave review team and the Walker review team, Water UK, Ofwat and CCWater.

Further information

Page last modified: 28 April 2009
Page published: 25 April 2008

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs