Water companies, regulators, local government and communities together face significant challenges relating to the water environment. These include: managing extreme weather and flood risk, reducing pollution, increasing urbanisation, managing ageing assets and adapting to climate change. There are also opportunities to enhance the environment and its biodiversity, create resilient communities and infrastructure and support economic growth. In 2017 the Environment Agency developed and published a Water industry strategic environmental requirements (WISER): Strategic steer to water companies on the environment, resilience and flood risk for business planning. This steer and the Environment Agency’s approach to Ofwat’s Price Review in 2019 is an example of our strategic overview for flooding and the environment in practice.
The presentation will describe the lessons from our approach to environmental regulation of the water industry and their merits in driving performance, improved resilience, partnership working and shared ownership of challenges in the context of reviewing the national strategy. The WISER document sets out the statutory and non-statutory expectations of the Environment Agency and Natural England. It also encourages innovation, integration and partnership working by celebrating good practice.Back to all speakers