Westminster Energy, Environment & Transport Forum

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England’s water market - infrastructure, regulation and taking forward PR19

February 2020


This conference was a timely opportunity to examine the next steps for the water market in England - including discussion around water infrastructure, regulation and the final PR19 determinations.


It took place following the publication of the final determinations of Ofwat’s 2019 Price Review (PR19) late last year, and with the National Policy Statement on Water Resources Infrastructure and the National Water Resource Framework expected to be published soon.


Speakers and chairs


There were keynote contributions from:


  • David Black, Senior Director, Water 2020, Ofwat;
  • Sophie Broadfield, Deputy Director, Water Services, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs;
  • Paul Hickey, Deputy Director - Water Resources, Environment Agency; and
  • Giles Stevens, Director of Policy, National Infrastructure Commission.

Further speakers included: Dr Tony Ballance, Severn Trent Water; Michael Barlow, Burges Salmon; Andrew Beaver, KPMG; Matthew Hart, Water Research Centre; Satish Parmar, AECOM; Dr James Robinson, Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust; Tony Smith, Consumer Council for Water and Pauline Walsh, Affinity Water.


The chairs were Baroness Young of Old Scone, Vice Chair, All Party Parliamentary Water Group and Sophie Broadfield, Deputy Director, Water Services, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.


The agenda


  • The Final PR19 Determinations and setting the future priorities for regulation;
  • Responding to the final determinations: pricing, finance, customer engagement, and reducing water consumption;
  • Improving the environmental performance of the water industry;
  • Taking forward the National Policy Statement for Water Resources Infrastructure and assessing the future of England’s water infrastructure; and
  • Water infrastructure priorities - opportunities for upstream markets, network resilience, and obligations for water companies.

Developing resilient infrastructure for the future


The discussion:


  • The resilience of England’s water infrastructure;
  • Engineering sustainable water infrastructure, including the ongoing work in reducing leakages, improving resilience, and upstream market opportunities;
  • Developing smart water networks and the potential for digital transformation in improving resource efficiency;
  • The water industry’s role and responsibility in maintaining and developing water infrastructure; and
  • Encouraging behavioural change in terms of water consumption for both consumers and businesses - following the announcement of a public consultation for proposals to reduce water consumption.

The context:


  • The expected National Policy Statement and with the draft National Policy Statement highlighting the need to secure long-term resilience in the face of challenges such as climate change, population growth, and economic growth; and
  • The Environment Agency developing a National Framework for water resources which will produce an assessment of national and regional water needs.

Assessing Ofwat’s PR19 determinations


The discussion


  • Taking forward the determinations - including discussion of the potential impact on future tariffs, pricing, efficiency, and services;
  • The future finance of network infrastructure - including what more can be done to attract investment and develop innovative technologies while keeping costs down for the end user;
  • The lessons learned from PR14 and PR19 and what can be addressed by the future PR24; and
  • Regulatory priorities for meeting the wider aims of Water 2020, enhancing customer experience, improving competition, and encouraging new entrants into the market.

The context:


  • Ofwat releasing the Final PR19 Determinations - aimed at improving efficiency, customer service, and resilience across the water industry.


Price: £95 PLUS VAT
Format: DOWNLOADABLE PDF


Shortly after every Westminster Energy, Environment & Transport Forum seminar, a briefing document is produced. This is distributed to all delegates on the day as well as to our policymaker contacts in government, and to stakeholders more widely.

A seminar publication provides a timely record of proceedings, and acts as a guide to the latest thinking on current policy issues for those unable to be at the event.

This publication includes

Presentations

Contributions from keynotes and panellists, including accompanying slides*
*Subject to approval


Delegate Pack

Information from the day, including delegate list, biographies and agenda

Q&A

Transcript of questions and comments posed to speakers from attending delegates


Articles

Supplementary articles from speakers
and delegates