drain TRADER

Piers Clark

we receive from our Better Together speakers are highly valued by British Water members, which is why more and more are joining us each week. Conversations have moved to how companies are now planning ahead to ensure they can emerge from this crisis in a strong position, while preparing themselves for potential resurgences.

“Organisations are telling us they have adapted well to new ways of working and, in terms of the water companies, it is encouraging that some capital projects are able to restart with support from the supply chain. We must not forget the UK is facing a water scarcity crisis, with the National Audit Office last month warning that unless more action is taken now, parts of the south of England could run out of water within the next 20 years.

information that’s available from all around the world. At a macro level, the evidence is becoming increasingly strong that this virus is going to be with us for years.

“The new normal we’re likely to experience for the next three or four years is society and industry is going to go in and out of lockdown periods at a national, or a state, or even a community level, and the water industry has a very important part to play. This is what the evidence is telling us today, this is the likely outcome of Covid-19.”

Clark also updated participants on discussion points and learnings of the 265 global organisations that had joined Isle’s social media collaboration, including water utilities and municipalities, such as how monitoring in sewerage systems could provide a rapid early detection method for spotting the presence of the virus in communities and lead to targeted lockdowns.

Other speakers on the video conference, which had 80 participants from across the water industry, were Ofwat chief executive Rachel Fletcher, Pennon Group chief executive Chris Loughlin, Scottish Water chief executive Douglas Millican and Water UK programme lead Sam Larsen.

Updates from the utilities focused on delivery of the AMP7 capital programme. Loughlin, who as head of Pennon Group is overseeing the investment programmes of South West Water and Bournemouth Water, said while capital projects had been paused when lockdown measures were announced, the majority had now restarted or were due to restart, with new working practices in place based on government guidelines.

Millican, who is overseeing Scottish Water’s 2015-2021 £3.9 billion improvement

programme, said the organisation had also adopted new working procedures and was looking to fully restart its capital programme. The public utility is basing decisions on key criteria including having a safe working environment, the criticality of the project and what worked best for the supply chain in terms of availability of people.

Ofwat’s Rachel Fletcher added: “It is good to hear that some companies are accelerating their plans and planning to catch up on the slow start in March and April. My impression is that this is the norm.”

Thanking speakers after the call, British Water chief executive Lila Thompson said: “The insights

“Projects that will protect our water resources are now more important than ever so I am delighted that we will have Jean Spencer, independent chair of National Water Resources Framework Senior Steering Group, and Paul Hickey, managing director of the Regulators’ Alliance for Progressing Infrastructure Development, RAPID, joining the call on 15 May.”

British Water’s Better Together virtual calls were established in response to Covid-19, to give members the chance to gain insights from key stakeholders on how the pandemic is impacting the industry, as well as identify ways for to best support the industry.

Calls usually take place every Friday from 12- 1pm. The next call will be on Thursday 7 May, due to the bank holiday

National Water

Hygiene Scheme Energy & Utility Skills Register (EUSR) announces communications on the National Water Hygiene Scheme.

working across its water industry partners. W

The UK water industry has set out clearly that hygiene is the highest priority for the health of individuals and the public, and this does not reduce during this time but becomes more important. There must be no reduction in competence or compliance across the duration of this pandemic.

A valid EUSR National Water Hygiene registration is mandated by all water companies across

24 drain TRADER | June 2020 |

ith the full impact of the Coronavirus still unknown, Energy & Utility Skills are

Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and England in cooperation with the UK drinking water regulators. It remains a mandatory requirement for all individuals working on the public water supply within Restricted Operations.

As part of their operational delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic, water companies need to have a more flexible direct and indirectly employed workforce working across their water assets. It is therefore more important than ever that anyone working within Restricted Operations is properly trained and assessed to

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