Westminster Forum - England’s water market - infrastructure, regulation and taking forward PR19

Date: 22nd January 2020

Location: Central London

Morning, Wednesday, 22nd January 2020

Central London


With the final determinations of Ofwat’s 2019 Price Review (PR19) set to be published this December, and a National Policy Statement on Water Resources Infrastructure expected in the autumn, delegates will assess the priorities for water infrastructure and next steps in taking forward PR19 determinations.

The agenda

Keynote contributions:

  • The Final PR19 Determinations and setting the future priorities for regulation - with David Black, Senior Director, Water 2020, Ofwat.
  • Assessing the future of England’s water infrastructure - with a senior speaker confirmed from the National Infrastructure Commission;
  • Taking forward the National Policy Statement for Water Resources Infrastructure; and
  • Improving the environmental performance of the water industry.

Further sessions on:

  • Priorities for water infrastructure - opportunities for upstream markets, network resilience and obligations for water companies - with a panel of speakers including Dr James Robinson, Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust; and
  • Responding to the final determinations: pricing, finance, customer engagement and reducing water consumption - with a panel of speakers including Michael Barlow, Burges Salmon and Andrew Beaver, KPMG.

Developing resilient infrastructure for the future

The context:

  • The expected National Policy Statement and with the Draft National Policy Statement, highlighting the need to secure long-term resilience in the face of challenges such as climate change, population growth and economic growth; and
  • The Environment Agency developing a National Framework for water resources which will produce an assessment of national and regional water needs.

The discussion:

  • The resilience of England’s water infrastructure;
  • Engineering sustainable water infrastructure, including the introduction of water transfers schemes, ongoing work in reducing leakages and upstream market opportunities;
  • Developing smart water networks and the potential for digital transformation in improving resource efficiency;
  • The water industry’s role and responsibility in maintaining and developing water infrastructure; and
  • Encouraging behavioural change in terms of water consumption for both consumers and businesses - following the announcement of a public consultation to proposals for reducing  water consumption.

Assessing Ofwat’s PR19 determinations

The context:

  • Ofwat releasing its draft determinations for fast track, slow track and significant scrutiny companies - aimed at improving efficiency, customer service and resilience across the water industry - and with the final determinations set to be released in December.

The discussion

  • Taking forward the determinations - including discussion of the potential impact on future tariffs, pricing and services; and
  • The future finance of network infrastructure - including what more can be done to attract investment and develop innovative technologies while keeping costs down for the end user.

Regulatory priorities for meeting the wider aims of Water 2020, enhancing customer experience, improving competition, and encouraging new entrants into the market.



Keynote Speaker

David Black

Senior Director, Water 2020, Ofwat


Senior Speaker confirmed from the National Infrastructure Commission

Michael Barlow

Head of Energy, Power and Utilities Sector Group, Burges Salmon

Andrew Beaver

Director, Infrastructure Advisory Group, KPMG

Dr James Robinson

Director of Conservation, Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust

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