A “clear” framework to open the water market to new entrants is being developed.
Sarah Hendry, Director of Water and Flood Risk Management at Defra said businesses and customers “will need to work together” to achieve the goal.
Speaking at the Water Market Reform Conference in Central London, she added the market will be more transparent and competitive as a result of policies expected to be put into place by 2017.
It will also help businesses and customers to understand each others’ needs, she said.
Ms Hendry added the policy framework is currently in “its first stage”.
She said: “There are quite a lot of pieces of policies to fit together. At the moment, most of our detailed effort is focused on opening the retail market. We are at the early stage of thinking what’s the policy framework, what are the arrangements for developing the upstream reforms and the governance and how the different bits fit together.”