Insights

Setting the agenda for water

The decade ahead

The England and Wales water sector has undoubtedly made substantial progress over the past decade. Most companies have completed the price review for 2015-20 and the Water Act 2014 has created the backdrop for a competitive, innovative and resilient industry with a clear focus on customer service. But what does the next 10 years look like for this sector?

Now is the time to look ahead and lead the debate; otherwise the industry could once again find that politics and regulation have the upper hand. In this paper, we look at some of the drivers for change, with a particular focus on areas where companies and the industry may be able to make a real difference.

Resilience

Resilience encompasses the ability of clean and waste water networks to withstand ongoing changes in the climate, whether these manifest themselves in short-term weather volatility or long-term weather pattern changes but resilience must also address changes including demographics, consumption patterns, house building.

Ability to offer outstanding value for money

We have seen the issue of affordability rise up the political agenda in response to the squeeze on living standards.  This has had a profound impact on the energy sector, and although the cost of water services is a fraction of typical energy costs, the sector has been caught in the crossfire.

Regulatory framework evolution

The introduction of retail competition for large users is only two years away, and it is almost certain that further competition will be introduced, whether in some form of ‘upstream’ competition or perhaps, ultimately extending retail competition to domestic users.

Setting the agenda for water

The industry has a choice…
It can either seize the initiative to lead the debate and propose the solutions, or it can allow the regulators and politicians to take the lead. If companies and the industry choose to lead, we believe that the opportunity to create a sustainable, resilient future is real.

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