Ofwat unveils new strategy to elevate the environment and public purpose

Ofwat has published a strategy to reposition the way it regulates to support the “profound changes” the water sector faces – “not least from climate change, population growth, and the questions around companies’ licence to operate”. Time to act, together combines upping performance today with the elevation of the environment as a priority and requiring companies to explicitly serve a greater public purpose.

The regulator set out three goals:

• to transform water companies’ performance for customers – “We want to be more successful in improving all dimensions of water company performance and to see an increase in the pace and level of change” – highlighting areas where performance is stagnating or declining;

• to meet the long term challenges ahead – including through making the environment “an integral part of everything we do”; and

• to focus more on public purpose – “This goal involves companies looking for ways to deliver social value through conducting their core activities differently” – such as using nature based solutions rather than hard infrastructure and supporting local economic development.

Ofwat said it would deploy old and new tools to achieve its goals, as well as making adjustments to price reviews and exploring new licence conditions.

For full coverage, see the October edition of THE WATER REPORT, published today.