The Water Companies Association has defended its attack on bottled
water last week, following accusations that the criticism was
The WCA represents 17 local smaller water supply companies, including
Bristol Water, Hartlepool Water and Three Valleys Water. Nine of the ten
water and sewage companies, privatised in 1989, are represented by the
Water Services Association.
In a letter to the WCA, Brian Duckworth, managing director of Severn
Trent Water, which is not a WCA member , said the attack would do more
more harm than good to the water industry’s image.
Graham Leftwich, head of PR at Severn Trent, said: ’We agree that people
buying bottled water are paying a thousand times more than they need to.
But you don’t portray the industry in a positive light by rubbishing
The WCA, headed by former IPR president Pamela Taylor, claimed the
coverage had been hugely successful.
’Within the industry there’s an attitude that you can’t say anything
positive because if something goes wrong you will be knocked back,’ said
Adrian Beeby, WCA’s head of PR.
The water industry has come under fire for its handling of leakage and
droughts, with executives’ salaries attracting ’fat cat’ criticism.
A spokesman for the WSA was reluctant to comment on the row and said it
saw its focus as on water supplies.
’Our tap water is among the best in the world and there’s no reason why
customers should need to buy water. But they do have a right to choose,’