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Regulators collaborate to support strategic water transfers

On 28 March 2019, Ofwat announced funding for a water Regulators’ Alliance for Progressing Infrastructure Development (RAPID).   This team will ensure a smooth regulatory path for strategic water transfers and joint infrastructure projects.

RAPID will bring together staff from Ofwat, the Environment Agency, and Drinking Water Inspectorate into a new team. It will follow a range of projects for inter-regional water transfers and other joint infrastructure projects necessary to provide resilient water supplies into the future, ensuring that issues arising under the regulatory framework are addressed in a timely and co-ordinated way. This will help create a ‘responsive regulatory regime’ to address barriers to collaboration as set out in a joint letter from Defra, the Environment Agency the Drinking Water Inspectorate and Ofwat in August 2018.

The RAPID team will complement the existing water resource planning companies and regional groups are carrying out. It will also will make sure options are tested and available to meet the needs identified in the National Framework for water resource planning, led by the Environment Agency.

Ofwat Chief Executive, Rachel Fletcher said “Ofwat is delighted to collaborate with other water sector regulators in setting up RAPID. It will be a vital element to support the work underway across the whole sector in making sure future consumers have resilient water supplies at an affordable price while enhancing the environment.” 

Sir James Bevan, Chief Executive of the Environment Agency said “We are pleased to be working in partnership with Ofwat and other regulators to help ensure our water supply is sustainable for future generations. The Environment Agency is leading the development of a national framework for water resources, which will identify water needs nationally and regionally. The new team will make sure that the projects required to meet those needs can be implemented, helping to build resilience into our water supplies.”

Chief Inspector of Drinking Water, Marcus Rink said “The Drinking Water Inspectorate considers strategic planning and investment, with drinking water quality at the core, a priority for the water industry. DWI are pleased to work with the water RAPID team on shared objectives in the interests of consumers.“

Article credit Ofwat