Open letter invites water companies to take part in green recovery

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AN OPEN letter has been sent out to the water industry today, inviting them to take part in a green economic recovery.

The letter, signed by Environment Secretary Rebecca Pow, Ofwat Chief Rachel Fletcher, Chief Expector of Drinking Water Marcus Rink, Environment Agency Executive Director of Environment and Business Harvey Bradshaw and CCW’s Chief Executive Emma Glancy, sets out how water companies can help to meet the economic and social challenges England faces during COVID-19 pandemic recovery.

The letter states: “Global issues like climate change and an ever-increasing demand for water highlight the essential role the water industry plays in a successful society, economy and a thriving natural environment.

“Now more than ever we need exemplary services and support for all the people and businesses in this country, and real and lasting improvements to the environment for current and future generations.

“As a water company, you take the lead in delivering a safe and secure water supply, a thriving natural environment and great customer service.

“Meeting these goals will require you to deliver the ambitious existing programmes set out in PR19 and agreed through Water UK’s public interest commitment, and to go further.”

The letter makes proposals for the water companies to:

  • accelerate existing plans and environmental priorities within the agreed 2020-25 plans,
    considering the enhanced use of nature-based solutions to deliver them;
  • bring forward ‘enhancement investment’ proposals from 2025 and beyond; and,
  • Implement specific new innovative ideas, which would benefit future generations or current customers. These could include: water resources, flood mitigation, net zero or water quality improvements.

The signatories agree to help the companies as they make their own proposals.

They state: “You must judge for yourself where your company could deliver further and faster.

“However, you should identify any regulatory barriers to further action and we commit to working together to minimise these as far as possible.

“Working together as government and regulators is vital to support our ambitions for the
water industry.

“We will avoid contradictory advice and help to resolve issues jointly where necessary.”

The full letter can be read here