Days after stepping down as Affinity Water chief executive, Simon Cocks took up post as Water Resources in the South East’s (WRSE) first independent chair.
In his Affinity capacity, Cocks (pictured) has chaired WRSE’s chief executive group for 18 months. His new appointment signals the next phase of development for the group, which brings together the six water companies that supply 19 million customers across London and the South East.
To date, the group has focused purely on coordinating water resources planning across the region. It has recently published a strategy document, From source to tap, which scopes out hundreds of future scenarios and underpins each partner company’s draft Water Resource Management Plan.
Cocks will be integral to WRSE’s consideration of how it now progresses the regional approach further to better support the needs of the South East.
Cocks said: “The WRSE group has been at the forefront of regional water resource planning since 1996 and has considerably increased the collaboration between companies and addressed the resilience of the region within the existing regulatory frameworks and planning parameters.
“The National Infrastructure Commission’s recent assessment of the challenges faced, and its recommendations, together with the Government’s ambitious 25-year plan for the environment launched earlier this year, really complement the increased level of ambition in the work being carried out by the WRSE group. Our latest strategy very much makes the case for investment in major infrastructure projects alongside driving forward more ambitious policies around leakage and demand reduction.
“We are already thinking about where we go next and how we reflect this new level of ambition for water and environmental resilience. We also want to address a broader set of priorities such as supporting national economic and industrial growth, increasing the resilience of water supplies to all water users, addressing the skills challenges we face and driving innovation in leakage reduction and water efficiency, so significant and sustained reductions in demand can be achieved and customers receive a high-quality service.”
See interview with Simon Cocks in May’s THE WATER REPORT