Ofwat has published its new strategy ‘Time to Act, Together’, setting out the regulator’s ambition for the water sector. It marks a shifting approach to regulation, based on 3 goals:

  • To transform water companies’ performance
  • To drive water companies to meet long-term challenges through increased collaboration and partnerships
  • For water companies to provide greater public value, delivering more for customers, society and the environment

Meanwhile, the Environment Agency has published ‘Building resilient water supplies’, which sets out how the environmental regulator “will lead on creating a national framework for water resources to improve long-term resilience to drought and enhance the water environment”.

It builds on a joint letter in August 2018 to water companies from Defra, the EA, Ofwat and the DWI. The letter set out what is needed to build resilient water supplies, including:

  • how government and regulators are joining up to give clear direction to water companies
  • how water companies and other large water users should plan regionally to identify the best solutions for a region and the nation as a whole – they should not just plan for their own company boundaries
  • how government and regulators will provide a responsive regulatory approach – this will support regional and national planning by dealing with issues and barriers as they arise

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