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Thames Water appear in front of DEFRA to explain its byzantine financial arrangements

Responding to Thames Water appearing in front of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) Committee to explain its byzantine financial arrangements, that threaten the debt-laden viability of the water company, CEO of River Action James Wallace said,

“Trying to figure out how water companies like Thames Water are financially structured is often an exercise in futility.

“For example, right now on the River Thames, from Kingston to Bermondsey, there are at least 8 human sewage discharges occurring. Together they have discharged sewage for upwards of 24 hours. And this happens all the time and right across the Thames Water catchment area.

“River Action wants to see Thames Water put in special measures, like we would with a failing school or hospital. The water company must be restructured and refinanced so that it can do its job, transparently and for the benefit of customers and nature, not just shareholders.”


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River Action is a registered charity founded in 2021 by its chairman Charles Watson to campaign for cleaner rivers across the UK. It has subsequently grown rapidly into one of the country’s leading environmental freshwater campaign groups. It has a mission to rescue Britain’s rivers from a toxic cocktail of agricultural, sewage and chemical pollution, as well as other threats such as excessive water abstraction.

With the active support of many leading figures of the UK environment movement through its advisory board, River Action’s campaigning is based around empowering communities to protect and restore their rivers; mobilising public opinion to influence policy and enforce river protection; as well as advocating for urgent government policy and changes in industry practice.