The UK Water Sector: reporting sustainability

Posted: Wednesday 17th December 2008

Water UK has launched a new report entitled Sustainable Water: State of the Water Sector. The report, produced in conjunction with Entec, examines progress made by the industry over the last five years and suggests ways that the industry, regulators and governments could help tackle some of the challenges faced by the sector and society as we look forward. Alongside this report, the latest 2007-08 results from the new industry sustainability reporting framework were announced.

“This is the first longer-term look at sustainability performance across the entire UK water industry – something the industry should be very proud of” says Bruce Horton from Water UK, the sector association that has led the development of the report.

The report highlights five particular challenges for the sector that we will all need to consider in the future. These are:

1. To reduce the amount of water society wastes. This means all of us working together to raise awareness, communicate better and take effective action.

2. To reduce incidents of sewer flooding. This will be particularly challenging against a backdrop of population growth and predictions of more frequent heavy rainfall events in future.

3. To reduce the amount of greenhouse gases emitted by the water industry. Current trends show that growth and pressure to deliver a cleaner environment are pushing companies to use more, not less, energy.

4. How to address all of the above, while continuing to improve the quality and performance for services provided.

5. Perhaps most crucially, maintaining affordable water services.

Tom Rumsey, Consultant at Entec added: “We are delighted to be working with Water UK on their sustainability reporting. Through these reports, the water industry aims to have a better dialogue on sustainability with governments, regulators, and other stakeholders. We believe this will result in improved awareness and more informed decisions.”

The report is launched today at the Water UK Sustainability Seminar 2008, Is The Water Sector becoming more Sustainable? in London. The seminar, attended by a range of industry stakeholders, also features a range of speakers including Martin Hurst, the Water Director at Defra, discussing the Government perspective on sustainability.

A copy of the report is available on the Entec website.

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