Water industry launches first ever sector-wide innovation strategy

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The water industry has launched its first ever innovation strategy setting out a vision for the sector up to 2050.

The strategy, which has been developed by 19 water companies from across the UK and Ireland alongside UK Water Industry Research (UKWIR) and consultants Arup, was unveiled at a virtual event involving representatives from all UK water companies.

Gemma Domican, Policy Manager at Consumer Council for Water, commented on the announcement: “I’m really excited to see the industry come together to share new ideas and innovate – to deliver clean benefits for consumers.”

More than 150,000 people, from both inside and outside the sector, were consulted as part of the development of the strategy.

It’s hoped the strategy will help deliver greater value for customers and better outcomes for the environment while also making the industry’s approach to innovation more efficient and effective.

In addition, it will help to ensure that Ofwat’s Innovation Fund is targeted at projects that will deliver the most benefit for the sector.

As part of the innovation strategy the sector will establish a ‘centre of excellence’ to bring together best practice from across the industry.

Rather than a physical entity, the ‘centre for excellence’ would allow water companies to collaborate, access skills and provide a focal point for water innovation.

The strategy will allow water companies to work together on some of the biggest challenges facing the sector, including protecting the environment, achieving net zero carbon and ensuring everyone continues to have access to safe, clean drinking water.

More information about the strategy is available here