Looking to the future
The UK faces a number of challenges in securing an efficient, reliable water resource. For instance, the impact of climate change means that water scarcity will become an ever increasing reality, impacting some regions of the country more than others.
This means we will have to be innovative in how we respond to these issues.
You will find listed below a number of consultation papers we have written or commissioned to help us address these challenges.
Further market participation in bioresources
Challenges such as climate change and population growth mean that creative and innovative solutions are required to ensure a reliable, resilient and affordable services in the future. Utilising markets is one such solution and PR19 saw a number of steps to promote the greater use of markets within bioresources. We have considered potential options to further develop market participation within bioresources. Within this paper we have assessed these options, identifying a package of measures that could be taken to utilise markets to support the delivery of better outcomes.
Evolving the Water Industry National Environment Programme to deliver greater value
There is widespread agreement that the time is right to evolve the WINEP to enable the water industry to deliver greater value for every pound spent. This has led to Defra, Ofwat and the Environment Agency coming together to lead a cross governmental review of the WINEP process. Building on United Utilities’ experience of implementing a Catchment Systems Thinking (CaST) strategy, this discussion paper proposes three key principles, which aim to better support the industry in delivering greater value.
Asset Health in the Water Sector
The overall health of water company assets is of interest to customers, companies, regulators and other stakeholders. We all want confidence that the health of our assets is adequate to ensure service and environmental performance can be sustained and enhanced, that our systems are resilient to the increasing frequency and severity of external shocks and stresses (such as climate change) and that the costs of maintaining our assets are being fairly split between current and future generations. Its complexity and lack of a simple consistent metric makes collaboration and benchmarking across the sector difficult. This document presents our view on how a coherent asset health framework could be developed that would be invaluable in enabling a mature conversation between companies, customers and regulators about the concept of risk.
Developing a National Approach to Customer Research
Ofwat has proposed to undertake a collaborative, nationwide approach to customer research at future price reviews. Whilst we believe that other options for change could also effectively address some of the lessons learnt from the PR19 process, we agree that some degree of national customer research could play a role in future prices reviews, if appropriately specified and delivered. It is essential that companies are directly involved in the development of such research in order to get the benefits of collaboration and ensure that they support the results. Without this companies would not have ownership of their business plans, and would not have confidence that plans reflected customer priorities. We have set out in this paper a number of key elements which we believe will lead to effective national customer research results that all stakeholders have a greater chance of being able to endorse.
Cost assessment at PR24
The Principles of Regulatory Cost Assessment
Cost assessment is the process by which our regulator, Ofwat, sets our efficient level of cost at each price review. This paper draws upon our experience of PR19, the subsequent CMA appeals and a look ahead to PR24 to establish six basic principles for cost assessment. Download the paper here (PDF 976 KB opens in a new window).