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Yorkshire Water

Yorkshire Water provides water and sewerage services to domestic and business customers across Yorkshire. With more than 31,000km of water pipes and 52,000km of sewerwage pipes, Yorkshire Water employs 3200 people and serves a population of 5 million people and 130,000 businesses.

The investment in numbers

  • 95% customer satisfaction in 2018/19
  • 100% of electricity sourced from renewable sources
  • £387 /year average water bill is the second lowest in the UK

Yorkshire Water provides water and sewerage services to over 5 million people and 100,000 businesses in the Yorkshire region. Its activities are primarily regulated by the Water Services Regulation Authority, Ofwat. Since 2011,Yorkshire Water have worked with experts in the field of sustainability to develop evidence-based projections to predict the changes likely to be faced over the next 25 years. This focus on sustainability forms the basis for their long-term plan.


Yorkshire Water, was originally formed following water company privatizations in 1989. Yorkshire Water has developed significantly since then and is well respected in the UK for the high quality water and waste water services which are provided to its customers. Yorkshire Water employs 3200 people and serves a population of 5 million people and 130,000 businesses. Action Yorkshire Water’s focus is to ‘take responsibility for the water environment for good’ through focusing on 6 strategic objectives; creating trust in its customers, delivering safe water, using innovation to protect and preserve biodiversity and the environment, enhance services to reflect the threat of extreme weather, mitigate future climate change, and hold a strong financial position. Between 2010 and 2015, Yorkshire Water pledged to spend £3.5bn on operating and improving the region’s water and sewerage infrastructure, a network of 52,000km which collects and treats 1 billion litres of waste water per day.

Financing Model: Consortium

Yorkshire Water is owned by a consortium of investors; GIC Special Investments: 33.56%, Corsair 30.32%, Deutsche Asset Management: 23.37%, SAS Trustee Corporation: 12.75%. In April 2019, Yorkshire Water raised its first Green Bond on the London Stock Exchange, using DNV GL as a second party opinion to ensure green bond principles were upheld.

Flood protection

Yorkshire’s communities have experienced the damage, distress and health impacts of numerous flood events in recent years. We play a critical role in managing flood risk by providing the public drainage network and collaborating with other flood management organisations in the region, including the Environment Agency (EA), Highways Authorities, Internal Drainage Boards and Local Authorities, to support a joined-up approach. Recent investments in the drainage network have greatly reduced the number of properties at risk from sewer flooding, and whilst substantial investment in the sewer network will always be needed, we’re also using innovative approaches to keep rain water out of the sewers and in the upstream catchments.

Examples include: • An integrated, long term drainage solution in Hull, where 16m m3 of water can fall in 4 hours (equivalent to two major dam bursts). • Re-forestation and restoration of blanket bog to help absorb water and slow water flow in the Calder Valley

Benefits to the UK

  • Yorkshire Water has taken steps to create greater financial transparency in the water sector by formally dissolving its Cayman Island incorporated financing companies in 2019, having established new UK domiciled financing companies in 2018 to take on debt issued by the Cayman Island companies.
  • Yorkshire Water made a total tax contribution of £131.5m in 2018/19, up from £119.9m in 2017/18.

Benefits to communities

  • 195 different sessions for schools and community groups to visit education centres in 2016/17 – providing 5098 tour opportunities at clean and waste water treatment works. All our education centres are 'Learning Outside The Classroom' accredited. The programmes focus on understanding the science and geography behind water treatment, with a commitment from Yorkshire Water to delivering 20,000 learning hours per year in the period 2020-2025.
  • An Independent Customer Forum exists to uphold accountability, challenging and endorsing a 5 year planning process. In 2019, the forum noted an increased level of transparency, customer engagement and efforts to tackle climate change.
  • Second lowest average bills in the UK at £387/year.

Working in Partnerships

  • Yorkshire Water work in partnership with the Environment Agency, Natural England, the Drinking Water Inspectorate, conservation organisations such as Rivers and Wildlife Trusts, local authorities, landowners, farmers, fishermen, businesses and those who enjoy Yorkshire’s countryside and rivers.
  • These partnerships allow Yorkshire Water to review how their catchments are managed, how water is taken and the effect this has on flow, fish, plants and animals. They also facilitate the development catchment management approaches to mitigate the risk of pesticides and nitrates from agriculture in our drinking water.