This paper examines the state of the regulated water and sewerage industry in England and Wales (hereafter the 'water industry') and, in particular, the respective roles of competition and regulation


1. The contrast between water and the other utilities

2. Price cap regulation in water

3. Efficiency comparisons

4. The complications of environmental and social regulation

5. The state of the water industry summarised

6. A change of view?

7. Why have views changed?

8. The way forward

9. Conclusions

Colin Robinson is Editorial Director of the Institute of Economic Affairs and Professor of Economics at the University of Surrey.

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