Brexit ‘big issue’ for water companies in the long term

Brexit is a ‘big issue’ for water companies in the long term.

That’s according to David Black, Senior Director for Water 2020 at Ofwat who told ELN: “We don’t anticipate that Brexit itself will have any implications for the opening of the water retail market. Obviously it is a big issue for companies looking out over the longer term, there are also questions about how the water quality will be regulated in the longer term and obviously companies will be looking to make sure that the source of financing are resilient both now and in the future.”

The opening of the retail water market in England is scheduled for April 2017.

Mr Black said there are two challenges ahead of the opening: “One is in terms of developing the frameworks such as the market codes and governance arrangements so that the market infrastructure is ready for market opening. I’m pleased to say that these are progressing well and largely in place and remaining measures will be put in place shortly.

“The other area is that this is a major area for IT infrastructure and so that process is under development at present and there’s obviously lots of work to do on both behalf of companies and on the market operator itself and so again a rapid progress has been made.”

He also believes some of the lessons the water industry can learn from the energy industry are related with customer service.

According to Karen Wright, Head of Water and Environment at WRc, the retail water market in England needs to provide true competition.