England & Wales
Up to 1989 water and sewerage services were delivered in England and Wales by 10 large public bodies, the Regional Water and Sewer - age Authorities (RWAs) and 28 private companies supplying drinking water in part of the territory. End 1989 the 10 RWAs were privatised and replaced by 10 companies listed on the London Stock Exchange. These private companies own and operate the water infrastructure according to licenses awarded by the government. They are regulated by several regulators. Their tariffs are regulated by an economic regulator, the Water Services Regulation Authority (OFWAT).
One major aim of this privatisation was to implement a huge programme of investment partly financed through significant savings of operational costs.
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