Ofwat is calling for ideas and input as it develops a new £100m fund to help save water.
The fund is being set up to stimulate a measurable reduction in water demand across England and Wales, for both residential and business customers. The fund will sit alongside sector efforts to halve leakage by 2050 and develop £18bn of water supply infrastructure projects that are currently in progress.
The consultation lays out the regulator’s early thinking on water companies’ role in helping customers to conserve water and invites views on how Ofwat should be shaping this fund for the benefit of customers, communities and the environment for generations to come.
The consultation seeks views on:
- What the fund should focus on, including areas such as dedicated work on behaviour change, use of data-driven insights and the introduction of technologies that promote water efficiency and reduce wastage.
- How we can most effectively bring in expertise from other disciplines and sectors while utilising best practice within the water sector.
- How best to implement the fund, including what governance may be required, and how we can continue to protect customer interests.
As well as being beneficial for the environment, customers can see financial benefits from reducing water use. Water UK estimates a 4-person household could save around £500 a year on their water and energy bills by reducing the amount of water they use.
Paul Hickey, Senior Director at Ofwat said:
“Securing resilient water resources is of paramount importance. It means following the twin track approach of developing new resources and managing demand for water with equal ambition.
“This fund will enable the sector to accelerate the sort of collaborative and innovative work that is necessary to make progress in this area. By bringing fresh ideas and existing expertise together, we can achieve more resilient supplies, improve environmental protection, and deliver better value for customers”.
This consultation will be the first of two which will allow people and organisations to feed their thoughts and insights into the process. Ofwat plans to launch a more detailed proposal, based on responses in early 2024. Its final approach to the fund will be set out later in Summer 2024 with an expectation for the fund to be operational by April 2025.