Faced with everything from regulatory pressures and heightened customer expectations through to climate change, the water industry cannot stand still.
Even though our own research revealed customers are largely supportive of their water companies, the sector realises it must innovate to survive and prosper.
That innovation comes in many forms, as delegates at this year’s Utility Week Water Customer Conference discovered.
Here are three very different ways companies are changing the way they work.
1. Uniting together
We have reported extensively on the fight to stop those gruesome fatbergs that block our sewers and cost the industry close to £100m a year. Now the water companies have realised they are better teaming up in this battle, and have united behind a Water UK campaign creating an official standard identifying which wet wipes can be flushed down toilets safely. These will be marked with the ‘Fine To Flush’ logo.
2. Using new tech to tackle old problems
The water sector is deploying the latest tech in many and varied ways – but few examples can be as effective as this. Since using innovative surge technology to predict where and when a pipe burst will happen, Scottish Water has recorded an an average 81% reduction in bursts and saved £2 million.
3. Issuing a social contract
‘This social contract is a massive step forward for us as a company but also for the industry. It reflects our purpose to have a positive impact for society in what we do, building trust beyond the delivery of pure and reliable water supplies.’ So says CEO of Bristol Water Mel Karam. It is the first water company to publish a social contract, and you can follow its progress on a new blog here.
Core topic areas have focused on Attitudes to River Water Quality, Improving Bathing Water Quality, Evaluating Behaviour Change Campaigns (water saving initiatives and sewer blockage prevention), Testing New Billing Concepts and Designs, Evaluating Behaviours During Water Supply Interruption, Online Tool Development for Willingness to Pay Surveying and much more.
Find out more about the work we’ve done within the water sector by contacting Richard Bryan on firstname.lastname@example.org
- Four ways water companies are helping customers to conserve supplies
- Four answers to the water industry’s wet wipe problem
- Four imaginative ways to keep Britain’s water network flowing
- Unblocking Britain’s £90m sewer problem