Climate resilience focus welcomed in proposed water strategic policy statement

The Commission responds to publication of a draft Strategic Policy Statement for Ofwat, the water regulator.

Published: 22 Jul 2021

By: Ben Wilson

Tagged: ,

Close up of chrome tap, water running

The National Infrastructure Commission has welcomed aspects of the draft Strategic Policy Statement for Ofwat, published today (22 July 2021). The statement sets out the government’s strategic priorities and expectations for Ofwat’s regulation of the water sector in England.

Giles Stevens, Director of Policy at the National Infrastructure Commission, said:

“Strategic policy statements play an important role in providing direction to regulators, though the Commission continues to argue that they could be better supported by complementary updated statutory duties. In the draft SPS for Ofwat, we welcome the focus on long term environmental and climate resilience, which reflects the emphasis we have recommended should be baked into such duties across all sectors.

“The proposed statement builds on recent examples of closer collaboration between regulators to meet the pressures of the future, particularly improving drought resilience by enhancing the capacity of the water supply system as the Commission has recommended. We hope that this strategic and coordinated approach can be replicated for drainage and wastewater to meet the challenge of improving the aquatic environment and believe that the draft statement indicates an important step in this direction.

“We further welcome the continued commitment to increasing competition where feasible, which should also be applied to the provision of strategic infrastructure, recognising the need to protect customers’ interests while meeting growing future challenges.”

Notes

The Commission’s report Preparing for a drier future (2018) set out the need for a twin-track approach to increased water supply alongside demand reduction of at least 4,000 million litres per day, suggesting that much of this additional capacity will be needed by the 2030s.

In a report on economic regulation, Strategic investment and public confidence (2019), the Commission set out various proposals to provide a clearer strategic framework for the long term investment needs of the country, including updating regulators’ statutory duties, and using competition to increase innovation.

Share this article

<

Recent Articles

Coming up in 2022
Thumbtack pins in calendar concept for busy, appointment and meeting reminder

Coming up in 2022

This page shows a calendar reflecting the latest expected dates for Commission reports, publications and events. You can also sign up to receive our quarterly newsletter by entering your email address in the box at the very foot of our homepage; or sign up to receive updates specifically on the programme for the second National...

22 Feb 2022 By
Commission hears from West Midlands on region’s infrastructure priorities

Commission hears from West Midlands on region’s infrastructure priorities

What West Midlands needs to build a thriving regional economy – and the role infrastructure can play in helping achieve that goal – was on the agenda for the Commission’s regional visit to Birmingham last week, the second in a series of six visits to cities and city regions around the country designed to help...

4 Jul 2022 By
Getting cities moving past “Covid fog” critical for success of levelling up 
A Birmingham tram reflected in a wet platform

Getting cities moving past “Covid fog” critical for success of levelling up 

Enabling people to make more trips in and around our major cities is a challenge that city leaders and national government must tackle head on by making urban transport networks work better – within carbon constraints – if they are to achieve levelling up, according to a new report from the National Infrastructure Commission. The...

30 Jun 2022 By
Government’s next steps on freight: welcome ambition, detailed plans now needed
Articulated lorry overtaking another lorry on a motorway

Government’s next steps on freight: welcome ambition, detailed plans now needed

This week the government published its long-term plan for the freight sector, Future of Freight. Government committed to publishing this in its response to the Commission’s 2019 study, Better Delivery: The challenge for freight. The Commission’s main conclusion in that study was that through the adoption of new technologies and the recognition of freight’s needs...

16 Jun 2022 By

Evidence_Icon_Turquoise Created with Sketch.

Explore data used in the Commission's research, and gain insights from across UK infrastructure

Join our team of professionals supporting the Commission to provide evidence based and forward thinking advice on infrastructure strategy.