Water UK's long-term vision is for a sustainable water industry. This will be achieved through efficient provision of water and wastewater services and a commitment to:
• Protect and promote public healthWe will protect public health by ensuring the safety of drinking water; effective water treatment, waste management and by promoting the importance of water in the nationís health. More...
• Provide a high quality, reliable and value-for-money serviceWe will provide a high quality, reliable and value-for-money service to meet the expressed needs and wishes of our customers. We will influence regulatory powers to ensure that any extension of choice or competition benefits all our customers. We will work with government and others to develop policies which help people on low incomes. More...
• Respond to climate changeWe will understand our energy consumption and, through carbon management, reduce our impact on the climate. We will adapt our business and investment plans to minimise the effect of climate change on consumers and the environment. More...
• Reduce our impacts on the environmentWe will minimise our demands on scarce water resources by promoting water efficiency, managing leakage and developing new resources. We will work with others to continue to support the polluter pays principle to enhance the quality and health of water environment. More...
• Earn the trust of the communityWe will be good corporate citizens and effective stewards of an essential public service that depends on the natural environment. We will comply with all our legal obligations, operate in a transparent manner; provide fair returns to investors; and be active participants in the communities we serve. More...
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We will protect public health by ensuring the safety of drinking water; effective water treatment, waste management and by promoting the importance of water in the nationís health.
This is the central reason behind why we exist as an industry. A clean supply of water prevents the spread of disease. It is the driver behind our work on the safety and quality of drinking water and wastewater services.
An element of this commitment is the public health importance of good hydration and effective sanitation. Without a reliable and quality product the message of good hydration cannot be sustained.
This commitment will be achieved by working with a wide range of partners and stakeholders, such as the supply chain, regulators, environmental health organisations, the Water for Health Alliance and national and local governments to:
• Maintain the premium quality and aesthetics of drinking water provided to consumers whilst adopting a risk-based approach to ensuring drinking water quality at the tap.
• Supply consumers with drinking water that is safe and enjoyable to drink.
• Meet or exceed targets for water treatment, waste management and flooding that directly affect public health.
• Reinforce to consumers the safety of tap water, its precious nature and the health benefits of good hydration.
• Provide information to help consumers look after water in their own homes and places of work.
Commitment 2Provide a high quality, reliable and value for money service
We will provide a high quality, reliable and value-for-money service to meet the expressed needs and wishes of our customers. We will influence regulatory powers to ensure that any extension of choice or competition benefits all our customers. We will work with government and others to develop policies which help people on low incomes.
The production and delivery of water direct to customers and the removal of sewage are the core essential services we provide. The provision of a reliable water supply of high quality is what our customers consistently say they want.
We are aware of our responsibilities as monopoly providers to be driven by efficiency and value whilst at the same time striving to improve services that meet the expressed needs and wishes of customers. Our customers, by-and-large, have no choice of supplier and we recognise that it is no longer enough to satisfy what we expect their needs to be.
We wish to be conscientious in listening to them and, whilst considering the impacts on all aspects of society, act accordingly. Value for money will where possible be measured against societyís expectations for other services.
To meet this commitment we will work in partnership with regulators, governments and customers to:
• Engage in genuine customer research, be prepared to act on the basis of the findings and ensure that robust cost benefit analyses inform our service priorities.
• Communicate continuously with our customers to raise awareness of the quality of the service they receive, the price at which it comes and the contribution they can make to help us and society achieve a sustainable use of the environment.
• Invest in sound infrastructure and human capital to anticipate the satisfaction of customersí needs and wishes over the next 25 years
• Seek to innovate and improve efficiency in delivering services.
• Ensure that vulnerable and poor customers receive appropriate help in paying for their water bills and do not suffer hardship.
• Influence regulators and Government so that any development of choice or competition takes place in a way that benefits all our customers.
Commitment 3Respond to climate change
We will understand our energy consumption and, through carbon management, reduce our impact on the climate. We will adapt our business and investment plans to minimise the effect of climate change on consumers and the environment.
Climate change is the single biggest challenge facing society and water is at the heart of it. Our industry is responsible for some 4 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions annually (1% percent of the UK total).
Impacts of climate change on the industry include erratic rainfall patterns and changes to demand profiles. These impacts are inevitable and we must adapt accordingly whilst continuing to work to minimise further impacts. Changes in process and behaviour now can affect the extent of future impacts of climate change.
Adaptation and mitigation are the complimentary approaches needed to ensure that timely action will result in continued safe supplies of water and reduce the magnitude of future impacts and changes.
This commitment will be achieved by working as an industry and together with government, regulators, suppliers and customers to:
• Remove or reduce the barriers to mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions associated with the industry.
• Reduce emissions throughout the entire process, including the supply chain.
• Increase the amount of energy provided by renewable sources and sourced from green energy suppliers.
• Ensure that legislation and regulation that affect our sector are assessed from a climate change perspective.
• Promote the efficient use of water by ourselves and our consumers as a vital part of reducing our carbon footprint
• Ensure we understand the impact of climate change on the services we provide and use our business planning process to minimise the impacts of climate change, through investment and planning, on current and future generations
Commitment 4Reduce our impacts on the environment
We will minimise our demands on scarce water resources by promoting water efficiency, managing leakage and developing new resources. We will work with others to continue to support the polluter pays principle to enhance the quality and health of water environment.
We rely on the natural environment. The environment is under stress from a multitude of sources and we need to work with partners and stakeholders to deliver the frameworks and plans to protect and enhance it and to ensure that the cost of achieving this is not borne solely by water customers.
With the impacts of climate change, population growth and demographic changes our industry faces a period of change. Our infrastructure requires intensive maintenance to maintain the environmental protection we aspire to achieve. Historic and future challenges need to both be addressed to deliver this aspiration.
To meet this commitment we will work in partnership to:
• Follow a concurrent twin track approach of demand management and resource development that is fully implemented.
• Develop and implement integrated long-term plans (25 year) for water supply, water quality, water resources and asset maintenance and replacement.
• Manage and maintain assets efficiently to deliver agreed levels of service.
• Ensure that sewerage and surface water drainage systems are adequately funded, maintained, with the necessary treatment provided and sufficiently robust to accommodate the impacts of climate change and demographic change.
• Assess leakage targets based on social, environmental and financial costs.
• Promote water efficiency through a range of activity.
• Ensure catchment-based solutions are implemented to augment industryís obligations for the benefit of consumers and the environment.
• Ensure pollution is controlled at source as a priority and that the polluter pays principle is implemented in practice.
Commitment 5Earn the trust of the community
We will be good corporate citizens and effective stewards of an essential public service that depends on the natural environment. We will comply with all our legal obligations, operate in a transparent manner; provide fair returns to investors; and be active participants in the communities we serve.
Trust depends on the demonstration of effective management, leadership capability, honesty and transparency in all we do. We need to re-assure society that we are effective stewards of this vital resource.
We provide essential water and waste water services to consumers which directly affect their daily lives. As our products and services are largely unseen and often taken for granted we rely on a relationship of trust with our consumers.
We rely on our regulators, governments and consumer groups to demonstrate to our communities that we are investing properly in these services both for the present and for future generations.
As an industry we will:
• Earn our consumersí trust by putting the reliability and quality of our water supply foremost among our objectives.
• Deliver the commitments 1 to 4 outlined above.
• Deliver the environmental and social objectives that our stakeholders have endorsed and our customers are willing to pay for.
• Communicate in a clear and relevant manner all aspects of our plans and performance.
• Ensure the integrity of the data we provide on our activities and performance.
• Ensure that our plans and pricing allow for sufficient returns to investors to maintain their active participation in financing our programmes.
Water UK teamPolicy advisers, events and facilities team and stakeholder engagement programme