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Water for Life Workshop

On Thursday 10 February senior representatives from leading water companies and partner organisations from across the UK came together at Aston Business School for a one-day workshop hosted by ACCIS, the Aston Centre for Critical Infrastructure and Services.  

About the event:

The workshop focused on the current debate about the restructuring and regulatory reform of the water sector in England and Wales.  More than 80 delegates heard presentations of recent research from ACCIS, Oxera and CCRP, as well as presentations from regulators and industry, including the Environment Agency and Ofwat. 

ACCIS Water Industry Event

Water organisations represented at the event included: Albion Water, Anglian Water, Atkins Water, Bristol Water, Consumer Council for Water, Defra, Welsh Water, Environment Agency, Northumbrian Water, Ofwat, Portsmouth Water, Severn Trent Water, South East Water, South Staffordshire Water, South West Water, Sutton & East Surrey Water, Thames Water, United Utilities, Veolia Water, Water Industry Commission for Scotland, Water UK and Wessex Water. In addition, several universities were also represented, including City University, University College London, University of Birmingham, University of East Anglia and London School of Economics.

The morning began with a welcome address from David Saal, Deputy Director of ACCIS, and sessions focused on the costs and benefits of introducing competition and vertical separation in the water industry.  The afternoon sessions gave an industry perspective on these issues and also focused on water trading and sustainable resource management.  These sessions highlighted industry's perspectives on these issues as well as the benefits. For example Mike King from Bristol Water talked about ‘The Potential impact of vertical separation on smart metering, water quality, and water resource management’. Jon Ashley detailed Ofwtat's current thinking on developing wholesale markets in water and Tony Ballance of Severn Trent Water gave a presentation on 'Economies of scope and the value chain: a Company’s perspective.' which reinforced the finding of ACCIS's research on vertical integration economies in the water industry.

The final part of the day saw a round-table discussion which was chaired by Richard Green of Birmingham University. This was followed by an informal dinner.

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