How can water companies, suppliers and regulators work together to support innovation?
Should the whole industry be challenging traditional solutions to find new ways of working?
Is it really possible to improve the customer experience while lowering bills?
These are just some of the points up for discussion at a British Water led conference, supported by Ofwat and Xylem. Building Collaboration in the Water Industry takes place on July 26 in London – and follows on from the Encouraging Collaborative Innovation event in April.
There will be a broad range of speakers from water companies and the supply chain, as well as from CCWater and regulator Ofwat – which will be inviting feedback on its Emerging Strategy document, a new shared vision for the water sector.
John Russell, senior director of strategy at Ofwat, said: “We’re coming to the end of the price review (PR19) process and we now want to think about where we, and the industry as a whole, are heading in the future, with the aim of developing a joint vision for the sector. This conference is a chance for us to engage with stakeholders and members of the supply chain, talk about our plans and vision and listen to feedback. We hope British Water members will see it as an opportunity to co-create and have a two-way conversation about the future of the water sector over the next five, 10, 20 years and beyond.”
Jason Howlett, Xylem managing director UK & Ireland, said the event will be a great opportunity to engage with the regulator: “Ofwat will be listening. They want to be an open and collaborative regulator, so this is our chance to really shape the future of the water industry.
“We’ve been doing things the same way for a long time but there are smarter and cleverer ways of thinking. Water companies need to work more efficiently, reduce costs and have better outcomes for customers. From abstraction, all the way to discharge – river to river – how can we push the boundaries, adopt new ideas and really drive change?
“I’m really looking forward to hearing ideas from across the supply chain. I believe now is the time to transform the industry if we collaborate and really encourage innovation.”
British Water chief executive Lila Thompson said: “There is a real push from the regulator to think and do things differently. We’ll be building on the very useful discussions we had in April,
exploring how Ofwat’s strategy works for the supply chain and what the industry can do to adopt and support innovation.
“This collaborative event offers a genuine opportunity to challenge the status quo as the industry rises to multiple challenges. These include the need to maximise existing assets, minimise capex, reduce operational costs, share the risks with the supply chain and ultimately improve the customer experience. This all has to come at the same time as lowering customers’ bills.
“While this may appear to be a utopian dream, it’s closer than you think and we want concrete outputs that we can all start working on. We’re pleased to have the support of Ofwat for this event who we know are very keen to collaborate with our members.”
When: Friday, July 26, 9am-4pm
Where: Institution of Civil Engineers, 1 Great George Street, London, SW1P 3AA.
Tickets: Free to attend but places limited to two representatives per company and will be offered on a first come first served basis.
More details and to book:
British Water 1: Industry regulator Ofwat will be inviting feedback from the supply chain on its vision for the water sector.
About British Water
British Water is the lead representative and business development organisation for the UK water industry supply chain.
SOURCE: British Water