Reforming the industry

Reforming the industry

We understand well that the challenges faced by the water sector of population growth, climate change, tightening environmental standards and changing customer expectations are likely to require further significant investment in future.

While to date the water sector has retained the support of bill payers, this has been in part the result of a willingness to adapt and improve the regulatory framework which has set prices and service levels since privatisation. 

As we look to meet the challenges ahead, we need to consider making further changes to the framework that will enable us to deliver better outcomes while maintaining services that are affordable for all.

Our contribution to the debate

Placing customers at the heart of price reviews is essential to achieving a sustainable outcome.

We have commissioned a report from Frontier Economics to investigate the potential impact of more direct negotiations between customers and companies.

We have also considered and created a report on how changes in regulation that would foster greater commercialisation in the sludge sector could drive greater innovation and efficiency.

Additionally, we have provided evidence to Dieter Helm, author of Natural Capital - Valuing the Planet, to assist in the development of his recently published paper, Catchment Management, Abstraction and Flooding: the case for a system operator and coordinated competition.

The success of the water industry over the last 25 years also presents an opportunity for policy makers seeking to reduce public expenditure, increase resilience and improve the environment.  We have identified how the water sector could help deliver this and the reforms that this would require.