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Regulators unite to support major resilience projects

Ofwat has announced funding for a water Regulators' Alliance for Progressing Infrastructure Development (RAPID).

Ofwat's Rachel Fletcher said RAPID will be a 'vital element' in supporting work to ensure resilience in the sectorOfwat's Rachel Fletcher said RAPID will be a 'vital element' in supporting work to ensure resilience in the sector

This team has been established to ensure a smooth regulatory path for strategic water transfers and joint infrastructure projects.

RAPID will bring together staff from Ofwat, the Environment Agency, and Drinking Water Inspectorate into a new team.

It will follow a range of projects for inter-regional water transfers and other joint infrastructure projects necessary to provide resilient water supplies into the future, ensuring that issues arising under the regulatory framework are addressed in a timely and co-ordinated way.

The intention is to create a ‘responsive regulatory regime’ to address barriers to collaboration as set out in a joint letter from Defra, the Environment Agency the Drinking Water Inspectorate and Ofwat in August 2018.

The RAPID team will complement the existing water resource planning that companies and regional groups are carrying out.

It will also will make sure options are tested and available to meet the needs identified in the National Framework for water resource planning, led by the Environment Agency.

Ofwat chief executive Rachel Fletcher said: “Ofwat is delighted to collaborate with other water sector regulators in setting up RAPID. It will be a vital element to support the work underway across the whole sector in making sure future consumers have resilient water supplies at an affordable price while enhancing the environment.”

Environment Agency chief executive Sir James Bevan, who made headlines with his recent warning that England may run short of water inside 25 years, said: “We are pleased to be working in partnership with Ofwat and other regulators to help ensure our water supply is sustainable for future generations.

“The Environment Agency is leading the development of a national framework for water resources, which will identify water needs nationally and regionally. The new team will make sure that the projects required to meet those needs can be implemented, helping to build resilience into our water supplies.”

DWI chief inspector Marcus Rink added: “The Drinking Water Inspectorate considers strategic planning and investment, with drinking water quality at the core, a priority for the water industry. DWI are pleased to work with the water RAPID team on shared objectives in the interests of consumers."

Author: Robin Hackett, editor, WWT
Topic: Policy & Regulation , Water Resource Management
Tags: ofwat , environment agency , Drinking Water Inspectorate , Water supply , infrastructure , water transfers

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