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The water industry in England and Wales, through Water UK, has established a voluntary Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Scheme known as WATRS. The company responsible for the scheme is Resolving Water Disputes Ltd (RWD).

The scheme offers a means of resolving the small number of disputes between customers and individual water companies which have not been resolved directly with the water company concerned and after mediation and/or investigation by the Consumer Council for Water (CCWater).

The scheme is based on the principles of the EU Alternative Disputes Resolution Directive. The Scheme Specification incorporating those principles was drawn up by representatives from the water industry, the Consumer Council for Water (CCWater) and the industry regulator, Ofwat. The Scheme Rules, which govern the way in which the scheme operates, reflect the provisions of the Scheme Specification. There is a link to both the Scheme Specification and the Scheme Rules on this website.

The scheme is free of charge to customers and is an independent, impartial and easy to use alternative to going to a court or tribunal.

WATRS has been established for the benefit of customers of the participating companies listed on this site. You can find more information about WATRS, including guidance on how to make an application at www.watrs.org

The operation, independence and effectiveness of WATRS is overseen and assured by the WATRS Alternative Dispute Resolution Panel (the ADR Panel) which has been established to ensure the integrity of the Scheme. This website contains links to the ADR Panel’s Terms of Reference as well as minutes from meetings and other relevant documents relating to its constitution and function.