Partnership working achieves mutual goals across all areas of our business. These benefits are felt way beyond our finances, having a positive impact on the wider economy, the environment and society.
Over the last reporting period, 2015-20, we’ve formed lots of new innovative partnerships, as well as continuing with our long-term successful programmes. Here are a few:
We are at our best and most innovative when we combine our people and ideas with those from the outside world. That’s why we’ve built strong relationships with individuals and organisations including universities, small businesses, local authorities and inventors.
Our goal is to eradicate water poverty, a customer’s ability to pay their water bill, across our operating areas by 2030. We work with National Energy Action and StepChange to provide our customers independent help when they need it the most.
We’ve topped the British Water annual performance survey league table seven times since 2010 in recognition of our work with our local supply chain. Our activities have a ‘ripple effect’, going far beyond our direct investment through trade with local suppliers which benefits our regional economies.
We are proud to host a number of partners on our sites; enabling these special places of industrial heritage to be enjoyed by the community. In 2019 we welcomed over 30,000 visitors to Ryhope Engines Museum in Sunderland, Tees Cottage Pumping Station in Darlington and the Museum of Power in Langford.
A number of new measures will be introduced for 2020-25. They are:
Our ambition is for brilliant partnership working across all of our business areas to deliver the outcomes that are important for customers.
During 2020-25, we will build on our excellent foundations, supporting and developing existing partnerships and creating new ones where beneficial for customers, communities and the environment.
Our activity covers three areas:
Its focus is simple - recognising the impact that climate change and population growth will continue to have on Eastern England′s finite water supply, combined with the need to enhance the environment in this region.
WRE is one of five regional water resource planning groups working as part of the Environment Agency′s development of a national framework for water resource management, but is the first to set itself up as an independent legal entity. Becoming an independent company marks a commitment by the Eastern regions most influential organisations to manage the region′s water resources together, through an impartial platform.
The new Board of WRE, which is expected to grow over the next few months as other organisations join the company, will be supported and advised by a wider network of over 50 different organisations from a diverse group of sectors, including regulators.
Eliane Algaard, our Water Director, said: “We know we face some significant challenges in the East such as responding to climate change and population growth, but there are also opportunities to protect and enhance our water supply and benefit the wider region.
“It makes sense for water companies to come together in this way to achieve our common goals and deliver positive solutions for our customers."
The next phase of WRE′s work will focus on the delivery of pilot projects within water-stressed catchments in the region. These pilots will focus on the links between land management and water management and will seek to maximise and account for environmental and Natural Capital benefits.
As part of one set of pilots, land owners will be encouraged to develop multi-sector water storage reservoirs, capturing excess water from winter rainfall and floods. This water could then be used to benefit the whole regional economy to bolster the regions water supply, support agriculture, enhance fenland conservation and reduce flood risk. These new reservoirs will be supported by further interconnecting pipes to enable water to be moved around the region, irrespective of water company boundaries.
The new collaborative partnership comprises: Anglian Water; Affinity Water; Cambridge Water; Essex and Suffolk Water; Severn Trent; the National Farmers′ Union; RWE Generation; Lincolnshire County Council; Suffolk Growth Programme Board (on behalf of all Local Authorities in Suffolk) and Norfolk County Council who will collectively form a Board of Directors.