Regulators announced last week that the Treasury had approved funding to set up a new joint team to ensure a smooth regulatory path for strategic water infrastructure like joint reservoir projects and inter-regional water transfers.
Funds of £2.9m have been signed off for the 2019/20 financial year for the water Regulators’ Alliance for Progressing Infrastructure Development (water RAPID). Ofwat will raise the money through an additional licence fee. The level of funding for future years will be agreed during the Comprehensive Spending Review.
The water RAPID team will bring together staff from Ofwat, the Environment Agency, and the Drinking Water Inspectorate into a new team, with the aim of ensuring that issues arising under the regulatory framework are addressed in a timely and co-ordinated way. Ofwat said: “This will help create a ‘responsive regulatory regime’ to address barriers to collaboration as set out in a joint letter from Defra, the Environment Agency, the Drinking Water Inspectorate and Ofwat in August 2018.”
Water companies expressed their support for the new team in a letter from Water UK chief executive Michael Roberts to Ofwat chief executive Rachel Fletcher.