Regulators set out how they will assess strategic resource schemes at first stage

The Regulators' Alliance for Progressing Infrastructure Development (RAPID) has published details on the process it will follow and the criteria it will use to judge whether and how strategic water resource schemes should make it through the first assessment gate of the development fund process set out as part of the PR19 final determinations.

The gated process for Ofwat’s £469m strategic scheme fund is designed to ensure there is robust evidence for the strategic solutions put forward, as well as to ensure alignment with Water Resource Management Plans and regional plan timetables. Of immediate interest is the assessment process for the first gate of accelerated schemes, the submission deadline for which is 28 September 2020. The standard gate one submission deadline is 5 July 2021.

The paper, available on the Ofwat website, said submissions will be assessed on progress and quality, and detailed how any delivery incentives will be determined. The gated process carries a potential maximum penalty of 30% of the total gate funding, but RAPID said: “We may exercise discretion in the final reconciliation at PR24 to not impose the full gate one penalty, if the company can demonstrate that its deficiencies were remedied as planned prior to the gate two submission. This potential deferment of penalty is to maintain the focus on desired outcomes and give companies the opportunity to rectify shortcomings.”