Westminster Energy, Environment & Transport Forum

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Next steps for tackling water pollution in England - new regulatory powers | implications for water companies and consumers | environmental protection | security and resilience

November 2023

Price: £150 PLUS VAT

This conference examined key priorities for tackling water pollution in England.

It was an opportunity for stakeholders to examine Defra’s Plan for Water and Environmental Improvement Plan, with discussion on minimising the infiltration of harmful pollutants and the way forward for maintaining and improving the health of England’s waterways, and ensuring ample supply for consumers and businesses.

Delegates looked at key issues for water quality in England, priorities for the industry and its customers, implications of measures recently announced by the Government to relax homebuilding water pollution regulation, and the impact of new powers for the Environment Agency and Ofwat aimed at ensuring the accountability of water companies.

We are pleased to have been able to include keynote sessions with: Harry Armstrong, Environment and Innovation Director, Ofwat; Helen Wakeham, Director of Water Transformation, Environment Agency; Tim Beech, Environmental Partnership Lead, Thames Water; and Stuart Colville, Director of Policy, Water UK.

Overall, areas for discussion included:

  • Plan for Water: assessing government strategy - impact on stakeholders - meeting regulation targets - legal frameworks - analysing funding mechanisms and monitoring success
  • understanding impact of pollution: implications of contaminated water on health, the environment, and aquatic wildlife and biodiversity
  • water regulation: analysing new powers of the Environment Agency and Ofwat, including performance-based penalties and dividends on water companies - improving resilience and driving collaboration
  • industry engagement: the role of the water industry in reducing water pollution - impact of water sanitation targets - improving sewage management, transport, farming and waste water services
  • clean and plentiful waterways: next steps for delivering security and resilience - drainage and sewage infrastructure - storm overflow mechanisms - technology and implementation costs
  • environmental protection: increasing supply in accordance with nature-based solutions - key priorities for protecting the natural aquatic environment - ensuring cleaner and safer water standards
  • remedy costs: implications for water companies and consumers of reform to the water system

The conference was an opportunity for stakeholders to consider the issues alongside key policy officials who attended from CMA; DAERA, NI; DBT; Defra; Department of Finance, NI; DESNZ; DfE; DfT; DHSC; DLUHC; EA; FSA; GLD; HM Treasury; Homes England; Natural Resources Wales; OEP; Ofwat; The Planning Inspectorate; UKIB; The Scottish Government; and the Welsh Government - as well as parliamentary pass-holders from the House of Commons.

This on-demand pack includes

  • A full video recording of the conference as it took place, with all presentations, Q&A sessions, and remarks from chairs
  • An automated transcript of the conference
  • Copies of the slides used to accompany speaker presentations (subject to permission
  • Access to on-the-day materials, including speaker biographies, attendee lists and the agenda