Water companies from around the globe have joined forces to form the World Water Innovation Fund, which aims to find, develop and accelerate the ground-breaking technologies that will make a real difference to peoples’ lives across the world.
The ambitious multi-million pound fund aims to pool the intellect, resources and funding of some of the world’s most forward looking water companies to protect this precious resource against the growing challenges of climate change and population growth.
Members have each committed resources and investment to a central fund which will then be used to develop innovative techniques and to undertake trailblazing research. Members will each conduct a number of large-scale trials of new technologies, and will create a seed-fund that aims to accelerate water innovation across the world.
An example would be collaborating with leading researchers and manufacturers to develop robotic products that can be standardised for the water industry that could actively seek, locate and even repair leaks inside pipes.
The fund will have a direct benefit to at least 50 million customers but, crucially it will share and publish its findings, allowing customers all around the world to benefit.
Ofwat senior director John Russell said: “The challenges facing the water sector are profound, long-term and global. Innovation is vital to meeting the challenge of significant leakage reduction. That is why it is so important to see companies across the world pooling resources and ideas.
“With the right culture innovation can thrive. This is a step towards embracing that collaboration culture to foster a global response which is creative, ambitious, and able to solve problems and create new possibilities. It is a really exciting initiative and we’ll follow it with real interest.”
The water companies that have signed up span three continents and are:
- From the UK – Severn Trent and United Utilities;
- From the Americas – LADWP and DC Water from the US, and Aegea from Brazil; and
- From Australia – Hunter Water, Melbourne Water, Yarra Valley Water, South East Water and City West Water.
Further information about the fund and the companies who have signed up can be found at www.waterinnovationfund.com. A dedicated Twitter account has also been created, providing the latest information on individual projects and trials.
Meanwhile, Anglian Water’s Shop Window builds on existing delivery with demands for global expansion.
A global initiative to create the utility company of tomorrow took a significant step forward today (10 April) as Peter Simpson, Anglian Water’s Chief Executive and the driving force behind the programme, called on more companies from around the world to step up to a new set of challenges.
Speaking on ‘Uninvented Technologies’ at the Global Water Summit in London, Peter revealed that 114 partners had already delivered 110 projects within the company’s innovation hub, centred around Newmarket, in Suffolk, since it’s inception in 2017.
Known as the ‘Shop Window’, the project is the innovation powerhouse behind Anglian Water’s ‘Love Every Drop’ strategy. An industry first, it aims is to create the water company of the future, today. It goes beyond trialling and showcasing the latest technology by ensuring a clear path to adoption for successful initiatives. Built on the principles of Open Innovation, all challenges are shared, organisations collaborate on proposed responses, with the outcome and any results also made public.