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British Water welcomes new investment for water infrastructure in UK

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In December, the UK’s water regulator Ofwat confirmed a major investment programme to improve services for customers and the environment.

Ofwat revealed a spending package of £51 billion (€60.1 billion) over the next five years, of which around one quarter is expected to be dedicated to providing resilient services and a better environment, in the face of a growing population and in response to climate change.

Welcoming the investment, British Water’s CEO Lila Thompson said: “British Water is pleased to see Ofwat is encouraging greater collaboration within the supply community in its final determinations for the 2020-2025 investment period.

“It is important for all stakeholders to work closely with the supply chain and recognise its vital role in finding innovative, effective solutions to best deliver for customers and help build long-term resilience.

“It is clear from the final determinations, that to meet Ofwat’s stretching targets and deal with the urgent challenges of climate change and population growth, the water industry must do things differently.”

Encouraging innovation

“The regulator’s allocation of a £200 million innovation competition is welcomed and in line with British Water’s recent response to Ofwat’s consultation,” Thompson continued. “This could mean a major step change in the industry and we look forward to learning more and to supporting the initiative.

“We acknowledge that within the supply community there is already sharing of best practise but are keen to see more widespread and deeper engagement to develop new technologies and digital solutions in close collaboration with water companies, to help them deliver the efficiencies Ofwat expects.

“More flexibility during the procurement process with a bigger focus on outcome and risk-sharing, and early contractor involvement, would encourage even better results, helping the industry retain skills and adopt more innovation. We call on the industry to come together at this critical time to work dynamically over the next five years and beyond.”