Affinity chief makes the case for a system operator

Affinity Water chief executive, Simon Cocks, made the case for a System Operator (SO) including acting as a means to persuade regulators of the value of new investments.

Speaking at Water UK’s City Conference, Cocks (pictured) listed many roles a SO could perform, but at the most basic said it was a mechanism to ensure water ends up where it needs to be at an efficient cost.

In light of Affinity’s water stressed geography and a changing risk profile of dry weather events, he said the company would be developing its understanding of the model within its company boundaries.

But he pointed out that a wider SO could help find efficient compromises where there are competing demands for resources; avoid investment being duplicated; protect biodiversity; reduce the financial burden of ensuring supply meets demand; and help win regulators over on new investments if they can see existing resources are being used in an efficient manner.

Cocks chairs the CEO group of Water Resources South East and said open sessions would be held to discuss the SO prospect further. He added he would welcome Affinity being used as a pilot area.