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Working on behalf of the water industry towards a sustainable future

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Water industry action on climate change

Water UK and its member companies have undertaken a range of activities to ensure the industry is well positioned to respond to the challenge of climate change.

The industry has developed close working relationships with government, regulators and other stakeholders. Work relating to carbon accounting, mitigation and adaptation is summarised below, with links to further information and relevant reports.

Water UK
December 2008

Carbon accounting

 • Produced standard industry guidance, methodologies and tools to measure and report operational and embedded greenhouse gas emissions consistently across the water and wastewater companies. This work is now recognised by regulators and is already embedded in regulatory reporting systems for Ofwat.

 • Incorporated the Shadow Price of Carbon, using government guidance, into periodic reviews and long-term investment planning.


 • Established industry-wide groups on carbon and on energy management, to share learning and good practice and to ensure that the water industry is maximising its potential to manage energy use and emissions.

 • Set out the industry’s ambition to reduce emissions, in line with the targets in the Climate Change Bill, and to increase the proportion of energy used by the UK water industry from renewable sources.

 • Worked with the government’s Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) team to improve the design of the CRC scheme, in which the water industry will be one of the largest sector participants.

 • Worked with Defra to position the industry at the centre of anaerobic digestion developments – a source of renewable energy in the UK.

 • Set up Waterwise and worked through the government Water Saving Group to make the case for greater water (and hence carbon) efficiency.


 • Completed a project on adaptation and asset management (listing impacts and adaptation options) for use in business planning. This complements the comprehensive UKWIR project Towards a UK water industry strategic framework for climate change.

 • Established an industry climate change group, to oversee the industry’s response to the impacts of climate change.

 • Conducted an industry flooding review, following the floods in summer 2007.

 • Worked with colleagues in Brussels to help develop the European Green Paper on adaptation.

 • Worked with the Environment Agency to develop climate change guidance for water resource management planning.

© Water UK

Thu 24 Jul 2014, 1:27