Environment Secretary Michael Gove is right to summon water companies to explain why they are failing to meet leakage targets. In the North-West, where hosepipe bans are in force, the equivalent of 175 Olympic-sized swimming pools of water gurgles away needlessly every day.
That is unacceptable. If, as it seems, we are living in an ever-drier climate where reliable supplies will be of increasing importance, the leaks have to be plugged. Consumers might ask with every justification why this is not happening when their water bills increase every year.
We all have a responsibility not to waste water, and that applies equally to the companies which supply it.