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WRSE appoints two directors to lead work on regional plan

Water Resources in the South East (WRSE) has appointed two senior directors to lead its work to deliver more resilient water supplies for the future.

Meyrick Gough has been appointed technical planning director at WRSEMeyrick Gough has been appointed technical planning director at WRSE

The group, which brings together the six water companies that supply customers across London and the South East, is committed to developing a water resources plan that meets the needs of the region, which is home to more than 40 per cent of the UK population, two million businesses and contributes £627 billion per year to the UK economy.

Meyrick Gough has been appointed technical planning director to lead the work to scope the components of the regional plan and how it will be delivered. This includes advancing the pioneering modelling and technical work associated with the development of a regional water grid, enhanced transfers, environmental forecasts and increasing resilience.

He will also be responsible for the development of a regional drought plan to enhance the operational response to drought events.

Trevor Bishop has been appointed organisational development director, focused on providing strategic direction for the group and leading on engagement. Bishop's role will include working with Government, regulators and the wide range of other stakeholders who share the common ambition for long term resilience of water for people and the environment.

Gough is on secondment from Southern Water, where he has led the development of four Water Resource Management Plans (WRMPs), which have resulted in the construction of a number of new transfers between the company and its neighbours. He also led the industry-leading work on applying stochastic modelling techniques to the WRMP process so that plans consider a wider range of future droughts, rather than relying on historic records. This approach to increase resilience has now been adopted more widely, including in the current WRSE strategy.

Bishop has been a director at Ofwat since 2016 on an assignment from the Environment Agency. At Ofwat, Bishop has worked across strategy, policy and engagement with a particular focus on resilience, environmental delivery and infrastructure planning.

Before joining the Environment Agency, he held a variety of both operational and strategic roles in a number of water companies. Bishop is also a visiting professor at the University of Exeter and sits on the International Water Association’s Strategic Council for Water as well as other international advisory groups on long-term policy.

Simon Cocks, regional chair of WRSE, said: “These appointments are a crucial next step on our journey to deliver more resilient water supplies and protect the environment in the South East by strengthening the role of regional planning.

“Meyrick and Trevor have been involved in WRSE for a number of years and have both played a vital role in the advancements the group has made to how regional water resources are planned and delivered, since its inception 20 years ago.

“I’m delighted that they are going to be leading the group to achieve its bold and complex ambition that, if achieved, will transform our way of working and how we collaborate and co-ordinate at a regional, and potentially, national level.”

Gough said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to drive greater collaboration between the companies and other sectors to develop a regional plan that will increase the resilience of water supplies across the South East. The modelling and technical work that is the backbone of the WRSE work is world class and we will build on this to identify the optimum solutions for the region including new strategic resources and transfers, demand and leakage reduction.”

Bishop added: “I’m incredibly pleased to be joining WRSE at this important stage in its development. WRSE, working in combination with the other regional groups and the National Framework initiative, provides a unique opportunity to develop sustainable and resilient long-term solutions for the benefit of people, commerce and the environment.”

Author: Robin Hackett, Deputy Editor, WWT and WET News
Topic: Water Resource Management
Tags: water resource management , drought , WRSE , ofwat , Southern Water

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