Excerpts from THE  WATER REPORT 

October 2019 issue 54



Loss cause


CONTENTS            full contents of the magazine  

Walsh asserted that the pledge in the PIC to triple leakage reduction by 2030 was not a “nice-to-have” but a vital change on several counts: “It’s a must-do for the environment,” she said. It was, she added, also crucial for customers where it has value on very different fronts.

Simpson said: “One of the self-evident things with that is that the low-hanging fruit has gone and the slightly higher hanging fruit has gone as well,” said Simpson. “So for us to get our leakage level down by another 15%, we’re dealing with lots of very small leaks a lot of them on the customers’ system.”

Taylor says technology is giving the water industry “new arrows in our quiver” to deploy in leakage reduction. Looking at the 50% target reduction for 2050 Taylor says more of that will be necessary: “We will be needing technological advancement to help us with the challenges beyond AMP7.”

REPORT Moody’s on PR19 downgrades and CMA prospects. 


REPORT Ofwat strategy’s for a “new normal”.


INTERVIEW Leakage PIC champions Bob Taylor, Pauline Walsh and Peter Simpson.


REPORT Drought messaging starts early. 


REPORT Party conference round up.


INDUSTRY COMMENT Collaborate to address the PR19 cost challenge.

FEATURE Innovate East.


FEATURE Southern Water’s Bluewave project.


SOCIAL CONTRACT VALUE FOR ALL - Summit agenda update


FEATURE Lessons from Anglian on drinking water quality.


REPORT 2018-19 SIM and complaints results.


NEWS REVIEW CCW cautions poor performers on leakage and outages.


NEWS REVIEW NIC on infrastructure interdependency.


FEATURE Socially conscious supplies in Nepal’s Beacon Project. 

Fail safe


At the core of what we do is insight gathering and that insight has to

NEWS Ofwat scrutinises company work on markets. 


REPORT Businesses and drought. 


INTERVIEW MOSL’s CEO Sarah McMath wants a reset. 


NEWS Water Plus improves in Q1 complaints

While Bluewave is there to bring a fresh pair of eyes to the company’s issues, it is reliant on the experience and knowledge of the front line staff to provide “insight” to guide its actions and advice.

come as much as possible from the horse’s mouth.”                                            Lauren Tyler



Associate managing director, EMEA infrastructure finance, Neil Griffiths-Lambeth told delegates at Moody’s Water and Regulated Networks conference earlier this month that Baa3 was possible for some and that you “could construct a case that some companies will not be investment grade”.


Delegates at the event, (c40% investors, 40% companies and 20% other) echoed the sentiment. An audience poll found only 33% agreed water and energy network companies remain attractive investments, while 43% disagreed and 24% were unsure. 



There was early trepidation: “Understandably for a business of people who have never been exposed to design thinking or lean start up, this kind of low-fi experimentation is quite scary; it feels very unfamiliar,” says Tyler. 



The clearest departure from previous strategies is Ofwat’s backing of the idea that water companies could deliver more for society and the environment, as well as paying customers. Ofwat acknowledged companies already do this to some extent in general and had recently acted specifically through the Public Interest Commitment.

companies already do this to some extent in general and had recently acted specifically through the Public Interest Commitment.

Moreover that individual companies – particularly Bristol Water with its first-out-of-the-blocks social contract and Anglian re-writing its Articles of Association to enshrine its purpose beyond delivery for shareholders – had blazed a trail. 

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.”     Rachel Fletcher
We knew data quality was poor” yet go-live went ahead on 1 April 2017
because that was “a very government-led, political drop dead date over which there was literally no negotiation        Sarah McMath

Retail reset


McMath comments that with many in the MOSL team and Ofwat’s business retail team having joined after market opening, it has been important for both organisations to pull closer together and ask “do we all agree the place we're in and do we all agree whether that needs to change or not”.



Observing that “the days when you can tell people how to use water and what to do are waning,” Turk set about encouraging the customers to consider their own water use and what more they might do to reduce it. 

Waterscan managing director Neil Pendle, who sits on the National Drought Group, reported the Environment Agency’s wider assessment of the situation.This included that water companies are preparing for the 2020 implications of a dry winter and that if it materialises, a dry winter could present serious, widespread risk to the environment in some areas due to lack of groundwater recharge.