Jersey Water has today published its financial results and water quality report for 2018. The Company, which is 74 per cent owned by the States of Jersey, is reporting a profit before tax of £3.8 million.
The hot and dry summer in 2018 contributed to an increase in turnover of 7.8% to £17.2 million. Operating profits were in line with budget and totalled £4.57 million. The reduction of 7% on 2017 was driven by a planned increase in depreciation charges following the upgrade of the desalination plant, operation of the plant in December and an increase in employment costs to address regulatory requirements, strengthen technical expertise and manage employee succession.
The Company invested a total of £3.91 million in its infrastructure, including the replacement of 2km of water mains and the extension of the mains network by 2.5km, connecting 340 properties to mains water. Leakage levels in 2018 were the lowest to date and fell by 19% on the previous year following the completion of a targeted leakage reduction programme.
Water quality for the year remained very high with a compliance rate of 99.99% (2017:99.98%). There were no instances of pesticides or nitrates exceeding regulatory limits in treated water. Customer satisfaction scores increased on the prior year with an overall, industry leading score of 86.5% (2017:83.2%).
The Company completed work on phase 1 of its Water Resources Management Plan (the “Plan”) to assess whether sufficient water resources are available to meet the projected demand for water over the next 25 years. The forecast indicates that population growth and other factors will increase the demand for water over that period by 17% and, as a result of the increase in demand and effects of climate change, action is required in order to maintain resilience of the water supply to the effects of serious drought. Phase 2 of the Plan is underway and will identify the action the Company may propose to take, including both demand reduction measures and the potential for additional resources, such as further desalination, reservoir storage and additional water sources.
Jersey Water’s Chief Executive, Helier Smith, said: “We are proud of our financial and operating performance during 2018 and in particular the high quality of the water supplied and excellent customer service feedback we received. I am very grateful to the team at Jersey Water who have worked hard to deliver our business objectives and who go above and beyond to provide the best service to our customers.
“Water quality remains an important topic for debate in Jersey and it is pleasing to see that treated water remains fully compliant with regulations for nitrates and pesticides. We continue to work closely with the States of Jersey and the farming community and make progress in improving the quality of untreated water in our catchment areas.”
“The work on the Water Resources Management Plan is vitally important and will help us ensure that we have sufficient water resources for generations to come. The previous plan in 2010 resulted in island wide water metering and the extension of the desalination plant. In 2019, we look forward to developing our detailed action plan and consulting with Islanders on the measures needed to manage the demand for water and increase the water resources at our disposal.”