Morning, Thursday, 18th July 2019
THIS EVENT IS CPD CERTIFIED
This conference will discuss the next steps for water market reform in England.
With Ofcom’s 2019 Price Review (PR19) setting expectations for the water industry to increase investment while ensuring affordable bills for consumers, delegates will consider how the wider aims of Water 2020 and protecting customers can be met while managing the trade-off between developing innovative technologies and keeping costs down for the end user.
Discussion will include the concerns highlighted by the National Audit Office report into protecting utility consumers, that found Ofwat often sets broad high-level aims such as high quality and good value services, but without measurable targets.
Delegates will also examine potential concerns relating to water company business plans, with Ofwat’s initial assessment finding only three out of 17 water companies have sufficient plans to be designated ‘fast track’ firms.
With all of the PR19 draft determinations expected to be published by mid-July, delegates will discuss issues around the deliverability of the plans, resilience and the scope of measures to improve customer experience, with new figures from the Consumer Council for Water showing a rise in complaints.
Further sessions will look at environmental and infrastructure priorities into the future, including tackling longer-term challenges around sustainability and climate change following the draft National Policy Statement which sets out water infrastructure needs in light of population growth, economic growth and increases in both flooding and drought - as well as how to promote investment.
It follows publication of the draft Environment Bill, which outlines plans to improve water resource management, and the National Infrastructure Commission’s report on England’s water infrastructure needs which considered ways to reduce leakage.