As water companies submit their spending plans for the next five years, Lesley Curwen investigates what happens to the money once the household water bill has been paid.
Half of England's water companies are now in the ownership of global investment funds. In many cases these corporate bodies are run and financed from abroad behind closed doors. They use a web of companies some in off-shore tax havens to provide a steady flow of dividends to their shareholders.
But is their mechanism for generating shareholder income at the expense of the customers who are looking for lower bills and sustained investment in their water supply?
Producer: Ian Muir-Cochrane.