They make millions of pounds in profits every year. But that's not stopped water firms putting up prices above the rate of inflation. The increases from April will come just months after energy bills soared to a record high - putting increasing pressue on household budgets.
Thames Water sees the biggest rise, with a combined water and sewerage bill going up by 5.5% to an average of £354. Meanwhile, Southern Water bills are up 5.3% to £449. And customers who use Wessex Water in parts of Dorset and Wiltshire will see a 4.9% per cent rise, up to £478.
Chris Maughan has been meeting people in Reading who lost their water yesterday to see what they think.
More top news
The number of people using foodbanks in the South East has risen by 20% in four years, according to the Green Party.
Friday evening's weather for the west of the region
Friday evening's weather for the east of the region