Showerhead

Anglian Water Director to chair new industry group to drive customer service and water efficiency best practice.

Waterwise has launched a brand new Leadership Group with the UK water industry - to use more ambitious water efficiency programmes to track and improve customer service. Anglian Water’s Director of Growth and Resilience, Jean Spencer, who is widely renowned as an industry leader in resilience, will chair the group.

Water companies want to improve customer service as well as the resilience of the services they provide, and increasing the reach of their water efficiency plans will help them to do both. This Group will help raise sights and share best practice.

The first roundtable event will be held on 9 June. The Group will focus on increasing customer participation in future projects and initiatives, and motivating customers and communities to get actively involved in reducing water waste. Waterwise will challenge and support the sector on ambition and innovation.

Chaired by Jean Spencer, the Group include Waterwise Managing Director Nicci Russell and water sector Chief Customer Officers, Customer Service Directors and Managing Directors.

Group Chair and Anglian Water Director for Strategic Growth and Resilience, Jean Spencer, added:
“Water will be one of the defining issues of this century. Water crises are the third biggest global risk and 40 per cent of the global population will be living in areas of severe water stress by 2050. In the UK, The Water Resources Long Term Planning Framework published last year showed that future droughts are likely to be more serious and will affect all parts of the country, so it’s vital water leaders unite on this topic. Innovative solutions and collaboration are essential.

“At Anglian Water we’ve made great strides in engaging customers on their water use through metering and water efficiency programmes, and making it a strategic focus. At Anglian we still put the same amount of water into supply today as we did 30 years ago, despite a 30% increase in the population. We’re looking at how we push the dial further - and we want to be able to share as well as learn. This Group will help do that more readily. We welcome Government and Ofwat’s increased focus on this topic, and now it’s time for the industry to raise its ambitions again on its engagement with customers.”

Waterwise Managing Director Nicci Russell said: “Customers should be at the heart of the water sector and it’s great that the industry is taking this seriously. Working with customers on water efficiency gets them actively involved - they see and touch water every day, and have an intimate relationship with it unlike the one they have with energy or telecoms! Scaling water efficiency up in the right way will help companies track and improve customer service.

“The Leadership Group offers a new opportunity to involve customers in thinking about their future water services. Motivating people to take action, and empowering communities through rewards, could change the way we think about water, and revolutionise services.

“Of course water efficiency is also key to increasing the resilience of services - not just now after a dry winter, but always. UK water companies have shown that water can be saved, but they can go further: water efficiency is a drop in the ocean of total industry investment. Through this Group we’ll encourage water companies to be ambitious in water efficiency, customer service and resilience planning and investment. We’re joining the dots!”

Ofwat Senior Director for Strategy and Planning, John Russell, welcomed the formation of the group. He said: “It’s great to see Waterwise and the industry collaborating in this area and working towards Ofwat’s vision of a water industry that puts the customer at the centre, drives innovation and increases resilience and affordability. It brings to life the findings of our recent ‘Tapped In’ report and is a critical part of the journey to build trust and confidence by turning customers into active participants in how they receive their water services. Water efficiency is a key strategic issue and should be on every water company Board agenda.”