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REQUIREMENT TO PAY COMPENSATION FOR DROUGHT RESTRICTIONS

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Changes to the licences of 14 water companies came into effect on 19 April 1997 following public consultation. ...
Changes to the licences of 14 water companies came into effect on 19 April 1997 following public consultation.

The changes formalise the offer made by those companies to pay compensation to customers if their water supply is interrupted under a Drought Order.

The companies had volunteered to pay compensation and to be bound by the director general of Water Service's decision in the event of any dispute about a customer's entitlement. The director published the proposals for the licence amendment on 13 January.

After careful consideration of the responses received, the amendments have now been incorporated in the companies' licences.

The companies are:

Bournemouth & West Hampshire Water, Bristol Water, Chester Water, Cholderton, Mid Kent Water, North Surrey Water, North West Water, South Staffordshire Water, South West Water, Tendring Hundred Water Services, Dwr Cymru (Welsh Water), Wessex Water, Wrexham Water and York Waterworks.

As a result of the amendments, customers of the companies concerned will be entitled to receive payment of£10 for each day or part of a day that the supply of water for domestic purposes is interrupted or cut off as a result of emergency restrictions authorised by Drought Orders.

The maximum compensation entitlement would be equal to the water company's average household bill for the preceding financial year. There would be no entitlement if the circumstances were so exceptional that it would, in the director's view, have been unreasonable for the water to have avoided the interruption or cut off.

Business customers will, in the same circumstances, be entitled to receive£50 for each day or part of a day. Here the maximum payable would be the amount of water charges paid by that customer in the preceding financial year, or if that customer had not paid water charges,£500.

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