DEVON consumers could see a hard-fought rebate on water bills wiped out if plans to sell-off reservoirs and rivers go ahead, it is claimed.
South West Water says the plans could deter investors and ultimately drive up customer bills.
The proposals are provoking anger among water suppliers, who are at loggerheads with the regulator Ofwat.
In plans intended to shake up more than two decades of privatised regional monopolies, Ofwat has proposed the introduction of competition in upstream supply — the upkeep of rivers, reservoirs, lakes and boreholes for the abstraction of water.
The move has been met with warnings across the industry that the result will be higher household water bills, which are set to drop by £50 a year in Devon and Cornwall.