From Defra

In 2020, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the Environment Agency and Ofwat led a review of the water industry national environment programme (WINEP) ahead of the next price review (PR24). They wanted to ensure the next round of WINEP actions achieves greater environmental benefits for every pound invested by water companies by using a more outcomes-based approach.

A dedicated WINEP taskforce undertook the review and co-developed a series of proposed solutions for redesigning the WINEP. The review of the water industry national environment programme consultation document (Environment Agency, Defra, Ofwat (July 2021)) asked for comments on the proposed solutions. The consultation document also set out a longer-term roadmap for developing the WINEP including actions:

  • for the next price review in 2024
  • to consider in future price reviews (2029 and beyond)

The WINEP roadmap has been updated to reflect the consultation responses. The WINEP taskforce will continue to work with water companies to achieve the following actions.

  • Action 1: Introduce a tiered approach for including schemes in the WINEP
  • Action 2: Better incorporate long-term planning in the development of the WINEP
  • Action 3: Clearly establish dependencies between the WINEP and other statutory planning frameworks
  • Action 4: Increase the use of catchment and nature-based solutions
  • –  a natural capital approach will become further integrated into water company decision making
  • –  government will consider changing legislation to encourage using catchment and nature-based solutions – they will aim to move away from less desirable traditional solutions
  • Action 5: Take account of wider environmental outcomes when deciding on solutions in the WINEP
  • Action 6: Increase water company involvement in the WINEP development process
  • Action 7: Increase involvement of other organisations and external funding in the WINEP development process

The government has also published guidance on developing the environmental, resilience and flood risk actions for the price review 2024.

This will “Meet the ambition and expectations in WISER (Water industry strategic environmental requirements) and follow the WINEP methodology to develop an environmental programme for the price review 2024.”

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