Just days before the hosepipe ban, United Utilities is preparing to hand out its biggest shareholder dividend in a decade.
The water company is preparing for the bumper payout to shareholders on August 3 - just two days before a hosepipe ban is introduced for customers in Lancashire.
The payout - predicted to be more than £100m - is the highest rate since June 2008 at 26.49p per share.
The revelation comes days after it was revealed that United Utilities wastes 430m litres of water a day from its ageing infrastructure.
A United Utilities spokesperson said: “Reducing leaks is a top priority. We have cut leakage by half since the 1990s and are working hard to do even more.
“The company takes the issue of losses of water from its distribution network very seriously and every year invests millions of pounds to minimise the amount of water lost."
The hosepipe ban in Lancashire comes in on Sunday, August 5. In the meantime, customers are asked to reduce their water usage where possible.