Introduction of a Primary Duty to Secure Resilience in the New Water Act Welcomed
May 15 2014
The Water Act, which received Royal Assent yesterday, amended the Water Industry Act 1991 to include a primary duty to secure resilience in our water supply and sewerage systems. CIWEM (UK) has worked with policy makers and legislators to ensure that the needs of the environment are considered in a balanced way alongside economic and affordability considerations within the term ‘resilience’, and the Institution welcomes the introduction of a regulatory duty that it has championed for the past four years.
CIWEM Chief Executive Dr. Simon Festing said: “One of our chief concerns at CIWEM, and one that we raised when we gave oral evidence during the Bill’s House of Commons Committee Stage, is that Ofwat’s duties attain the correct balance. The environment must be on equal footing with economic and customer affordability considerations, so as to ensure that it is protected when decisions are made.
“In our 2010 report ‘Regulation for a Sustainable Water Industry’ CIWEM called for the financial regulator to have a statutory duty to promote water conservation and efficiency and highlighted that Ofwat’s statutory duty to promote sustainable development was not being undertaken as a priority. This is why we are delighted that the Act requires water supply and sewerage undertakers to implement a range of measures to manage water resources in sustainable ways, increase efficiency in the use of water, and reduce demand for water, so as to reduce pressure on water resources.”
CIWEM supports strongly the Water Act’s resilience objectives. It is vitally-important that we promote water conservation and efficiency in light of environmental pressures, population growth and changes in consumer behaviour. As such, CIWEM regards the long-term consideration of both resilience and sustainability in our water supply and sewerage management to be essential.
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