The release this month of Ofwat’s supply-demand position statement caused some surprise in the industry and among stakeholders, including other regulators, for its apparent suggestion that investment to prepare for climate change should be delayed.
The justification seemed to be the prospect of new scenarios by the UK Climate Impacts Programme, which will now be released in 2009 rather than 2008 as previously planned.
Ofwat’s intention was certainly not to suggest that water companies should not be taking into account the impacts of climate change. After all, planning for the impacts based on the best available evidence is required by government, and is absolutely essential if the industry is to continue to provide high quality services in the future.
Yet some clarification would certainly be welcome. Regulatory uncertainty at this stage of the planning process is not helpful.
Contact: Bruce Horton