This plan began with OFWAT (Office of Water Services) publishing the ‘shared vision’ for the sector, where customers and the wider society have trust and confidence in public water and wastewater services.
On 11 August 2015 – OFWAT published its 5-year business plan which sets out how it plans to deliver the shared vision.
The plan outlines five key projects which are supported by strategy and planning, business transformation and compliance and assurance, these are:
- Opening the retail market – all non-household customers can choose their water and wastewater suppliers from April 2017.
- Water 2020, developing future markets and ways of regulation to deliver the upstream reforms set out in the Water Act 2014.
- Continuing to protect customers, hold suppliers accountable and making markets work better.
- Helping companies to demonstrate financial, service and corporate resilience and that any changes in ownership are in the best interests of customers.
- Establishing and opening the regulatory framework for the Thames Tideway Tunnel.
This is part of the ‘Open Water’ reforms to deliver the UK Government’s Water for Life vision, enabled through new legislation, the Water Act 2014.
The Thames Tideway Tunnel is a new ‘super sewer’ running 25km from west London beneath the Thames and then to Limehouse before continuing north to Stratford’s Abbey Mills Pumping Station. It’s a seven year project costing GBP4.2bn (2011 prices) to resolve the problem of raw sewerage flowing into the Thames as a result of under capacity in the city’s existing Victorian sewers.