Policy

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Waterwise and policy

We drive the policy and regulatory agenda across the UK to enable ambitious and innovative water efficiency. We guide, steer and respond to government and regulatory developments across the UK. Often there is no ‘ownership’ of water efficiency issues and we provide the interface between government, regulators, water companies, social enterprises and others.

Below we highlight our recent policy work through strategy development and consultation responses:

Waterwise’s Water Efficiency Strategy for the UK

The strategy was developed in consultation with the water sector - including Waterwise supporters and the Water UK-supported steering group. It sets out a blueprint to deliver a vision of a UK in which all people, homes and businesses are water-efficient, and where water is used wisely, every day, everywhere. Read more about the strategy and the ongoing work of the Water UK supported Water Efficiency Strategy Steering Group in delivering the actions here.

Response to the National Infrastructure Commission - New Technology Study Second Call for Evidence

Water efficiency is a key contributor to resilience, and water companies are currently carrying out large-scale retrofitting and customer engagement programmes. Ofwat and Defra are keen to see greater ambition on water demand management. The Waterwise Water Efficiency Strategy for the UK sets out a range of actions to improve water efficiency in new developments. Waterwise support a national and compulsory rollout of smart metering to provide benefits for customer engagement and water efficiency. We have set out barriers to new technologies as well as a range of new technologies identified by Waterwise and in research internationally. Read our full response here.

Response to Ofwat on Delivering Water 2020 – consulting on our methodology for the 2019 price review (August 2017)

We set out the need for Ofwat to be clearer in their methodology on how they will deliver Defra’s expectation that Ofwat “promote ambitious action to reduce leakage and per capita consumption”. The response also outlines potential water consumption related common and bespoke performance indicators and what targets in 2019 might look like. Read the full response here.

Response to Welsh Water 2050 (August 2017)

We support the Glas Cymru board’s mission statement “to become a truly world class, resilient and sustainable water service for the benefit of future generations”. Water efficiency is a key contributor to resilience, and water companies are currently carrying out large-scale retrofitting and customer engagement programmes. But water efficiency, scaled up even further, is also an invaluable tool in driving customer participation – as well as using water efficiency programmes to get customers to help deliver water savings, it can contribute to multi-layered relationships to help inform, track and improve customer service and outcomes across companies. Read our full response here.

Response to Ofwat consultation on New connections charges for the future – England (August 2017)

The proposed changes around income offsets could reduce the ability of incumbent water companies to offer an incentive through reduced or zero developer charges where they install water efficient fittings and fixtures. We suggested this issue needs further consideration as these incentives provide a major opportunity for water companies to manage demand, without wider government regulation on building water efficiency standards. Read the full response here.

Response to Ofwat’s Bioresources and water resources market information consultation (June 2017)

We know Ofwat is keen to see larger-scale water efficiency. Demand management options, including leakage reduction and water efficiency, could be more innovative and cost-effective if delivered by third parties or existing incumbent water companies who have already invested in this area. Providing clear market information on the water resources situation and other supply and demand management options being considered can inform those looking to innovate in this area. However, the market for demand management services, particularly household water efficiency, needs support to develop and address issues of delivery risk. Read our full response here.

Response to Consultation on The Government's strategic priorities and objectives for Ofwat (April 2017)

We know Ofwat is keen to see larger-scale water efficiency and we supported Defra’s expectation that they “promote ambitious action to reduce leakage and per capita consumption”. The key elements of our response included the need to explicitly support variable infrastructure charging schemes linked to water efficiency for new housing developments; to enable water companies to take risks by working in collaboration with others to achieve better outcomes on water efficiency; for wider policy changes to deliver extended and enhanced water efficiency scenarios; to audit the impact of retail competition on water efficiency services and how this might translate to residential retail competition; to consider the potential contribution of water efficiency in upstream competition; and for third party auditing of business plans and final PR19 determinations for progress on water efficiency. Read our full response here.

Response to Ofwat’s Monitoring the business retail market from April 2017 - a consultation (Feburary 2017)

As was highlighted by several stakeholders at our recent Waterwise Retail Competition event, there is a need for better monitoring of these savings in England to ensure the market is working and to provide a stronger evidence base if retail competition includes domestic customers in future. Ofwat’s emerging findings on the costs and benefits of residential competition suggest that water efficiency could have a net benefit of between £98m and £398m. This along with the £177 potential metering benefit would make a large impact on the less innovative and competitive scenarios if not achieved. Read our full response here.