Thames Water, the largest water supplier in Britain, has announced that it is still working on securing new equity to guarantee its survival, but no final decision will be made until the regulator determines the extent of bill increases for the next five years.

The company, which serves approximately one-fourth of the British population, is burdened with 16 billion pounds of debt. In March, a crisis ensued when the owners refused to inject a 500-million pound equity lifeline. Thames Water reported on Tuesday that its 1.8 billion pounds ($2.31 billion) in liquidity is enough to sustain operations until the end of May 2025. The new British government may need to nationalize the company if it fails to obtain new funding.

The crisis in Britain's privatized water industry has escalated this year due to more frequent sewage discharges into rivers and seas, as companies neglected to adequately invest in deteriorating infrastructure. In March, investors declared Thames Water 'uninvestible'. The company aims to increase customer bills by 40%, excluding inflation, over the period 2025-2030 to fund infrastructure improvements and reduce sewage spills, pending approval from the regulator, Ofwat.

Ofwat is set to make an initial decision on Thursday, with a final verdict expected in December. Thames Water stated, 'Following the draft determination and our response to Ofwat, we will engage with potential investors and creditors to seek new equity and extend our liquidity runway. Any equity process is anticipated to conclude only after the final determination.' Thames Water reported an underlying profit after tax of 140 million pounds ($179 million) for the year ending March, although the number of pollution incidents has risen.