Day 2 of Water 2014
Posted on by Olga Luengo Gonzalez
Olga Luengo-Gonzalez – Marketing Manager – Saint-Gobain PAM UK
Day two of the Water 2014 Conference focused on the success of the Water Act implementation, the Regulator’s work, the ‘finance-ability’ of the water industry, the reform on abstraction management and the ever-critical issue of ensuring security of water supply to all customers in the UK.
We had the privilege of listening to Dan Roger MP taking us through the implementation of the Water Act, its benefits and its challenges, followed by Cathryn Ross, Chief Executive at Ofwat who, ahead of the final determinations, reflected on the changes that the new approach used in PR14 will have in the future, well beyond AMP6. She went on to highlight how much customers are already benefiting from the changes, as their bills stay flat (or even decrease in some cases) and as the industry achieves an average decrease on interruption times of c.40%.
You would argue the industry is already ‘changing’ and ‘doing many good things’, nevertheless, we were soon challenged by Gordon Roger, Strategy Manager at Yorkshire Water in regards to the resilience of the UK Water Service and he posed a question to the audience and the panel on ‘how reactive’ our attitude to asset resilience still is, and should we not be moving to a ‘pro-active attitude’ that will truly take us ahead of the game?
Many points of view were shared, simply put on the table and debated by an industry that wants to progress, to make a difference, to leave a proud legacy to future generations.
What I observed was a willingness to change, to be more efficient and to set up true collaborations between all involved in the Water Industry and beyond, a truly refreshing feeling. We all know we can get even better, and that endless desire of achievement and reaching further I have always admired in the UK was once again present. The questions for me are how fast we ‘creatures of habit’ will be able to adapt and embrace those changes through innovation and whether, and how quickly, we will be able to make the most of the opportunities that are there for us to exploit. I suppose time will tell…