Ofwat has published a summary of the 23 responses it received to its June 2019 open call for information from potential buyers and sellers of water to express interest in, and raise issues about, a bilateral market for wholesale water supplies in England.
Interested parties were invited to comment on the prospect of a third party provider of water resources (such as an out-of-area water company or other holder of an abstraction licence such as a farmer or heavy user) contracting directly with a retailer to sell water to its business customers. This was part of an information gathering exercise that would inform a decision from the secretary of state about whether to switch on the relevant provisions of the Water Act 2014.
Respondents expressed interest in a bilateral market and shared views on options for trading. They also raised issues including on water quality, the impact on the Water Resource Management Planning process, and stranded investment.
Ofwat will publish a policy document on how the issues identified could be addressed and a timeframe for action later this year.