Insights into innovation and resilience: The premier water industry conference

12 – 13 November 2019
Hilton Tower Bridge, London

Join the UK’s foremost water professionals for an action packed 2 days of ideas, debates and networking.

Future of Utilities: Water 2019 is the premier water industry event that will answer any questions you may have and more. With an expert line-up of speakers, tailored content and networking opportunities, this year’s conference is where you’ll find everyone you need to make your business thrive, all under one roof.

2018 Speakers

Steve Robertson, Thames Water - Future of Utilities Summit 2019

Steve Robertson

Chief Executive Officer, Thames Water

Pauline Walsh

Chief Executive Officer, Affinity Water

Colin Skellet photo

Colin Skellett

Chief Executive Officer, Wessex Water

Chris Scoggins, MOSL

Chris Scoggins

Chief Executive Officer, MOSL

Rachel Fletcher

Rachel Fletcher

Chief Executive Officer, OFWAT

Margaret Read

Margaret Read

Head of Water Supply Policy, DEFRA

Phil Graham

Chief Executive, National Infrastructure Commission

Pamela Doherty

Pamela Doherty

Director of Service Delivery, Yorkshire Water

More Speakers

2018 Agenda

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Day 1 Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Day 2 Wednesday, 14 November 2018


Welcome Address


Chair's opening remarks - Karma Loveday, Editor, The Water Report

Session 1

Restoring confidence in turbulent times

Leader’s forum

Restoring confidence and rebuilding trust in water companies

  • What key measures can the industry take now to quickly restore public trust?
  • How do we demonstrate to the public our commitment to best practice on all fronts?
  • Batting off the front foot: how should the industry improve communication with the public?
  • Asking for help: what role should companies play in encouraging stringent regulatory oversight?
  • How to maintain profitability and success in the industry with a lower return on capital?
  • What preparations should be made for the possibility of structural changes in the industry?

Steve Robertson, Thames Water - Future of Utilities Summit 2019
Steve Robertson

Chief Executive Officer , Thames Water

Colin Skellet photo
Colin Skellett

Chief Executive Officer , Wessex Water

Pauline Walsh

Chief Executive Officer , Affinity Water

Session 2

Policy Frameworks in the 21st Century

Keynote address

Ensuring a water industry fit for the 21st Century

Margaret Read
Margaret Read

Head of Water Supply Policy , DEFRA


What would be the impact of Labour’s plan for nationalisation

  • What would be the impact of a change in ownership model on levels of investment?
  • Would nationalisation really lead to a more customer-focused sector?
  • Which model of ownership is best suited to delivering innovation?
  • What might the regulatory model be under public ownership?

Scott Corfe
Scott Corfe

Chief Economist , Social Market Foundation





Session 3

Transforming the water industry through new technologies

Case study | Anglian Water

The smart data revolution in water: nudging customers & reducing usage

Anglian Water cut average water consumption in Newmarket by 8% following the introduction of an online portal that ‘nudges’ customers toward reducing their usage. In this presentation, Paul Glass will explain how through the introduction of smart metering and data analytics, Anglian water enhanced customer engagement whilst meeting sustainability goals to reduce usage.

Paul Glass
Paul Glass

Smart Metering Programme Manager , Anglian Water


Data Analytics: The Tool to Power Change

Alexander Mahon

Dark Data expert - Water , PA Consulting

Case study | Yorkshire Water

Open data: the benefits of equal access

Yorkshire Water, in partnership with Leeds Open Data Institute, has plans to release the majority of operational and service data by 2020. Richard Emmott will explain how important open data is in their plans to encourage innovation by allowing outside experts and ‘citizen regulators’ to scrutinise their performance and improve results.

Richard Emmott

Director of Communications , Yorkshire Water





Session 4

Innovation in delivering customer service | Innovation in operational efficiency

Blue stage: Innovation in delivering customer service
Red stage: Innovation in operational efficiency

Chair’s opening remarks

Karma Loveday

Editor , The Water Report


Self-Supply: a new customer-focused model

• What are the benefits for companies of pursuing self-supply?
• How can Ofwat improve the process to make self-supply easier?
• What do water retailers need to learn from self-suppliers motivations?

Chris White | Marstons
Chris White

Energy Services Advisor , Marston’s

Neil Pendle
Neil Pendle

Managing Director , Water Scan

Case study | Albion Water

Customer service across the board

As an NAV company that provides specialized services across multiple geographical regions, Albion Water faces a whole host of challenges when it comes to providing consistently high quality customer care. Albion Water’s Chairman Jerry Bryan discusses how the company achieves outstanding service through a range of different social media and communication channels. He highlights how their customer services model is highly complimented by their wider initiative designed to boost water efficiency, cut bills and ultimately improve customer satisfaction.

Jerry Bryan Albion Water
Jerry Bryan

Chairman , Albion Water

Case Study | South Staffs Water

Alexa can you ask South Staffs Water…

The new C-mex approach to customer scoring decidedly focuses on customer experience. South Staffs Water’s Gordon Morrison explores the impact on customer experience following the introduction of Alexa Skill.

Gordon Morrison

PR19 Retail Strategy Lead , South Staffs Water




Chair’s opening remarks

Natasha Wiseman

Managing Director , WiseOnWater

Case study | Anglian

Preparing for the future by innovating across the entire man made water cycle

Anglian Water’s Shop Window initiative has unlocked synergies between new technologies and new ways of working. In providing a real world testing facility open to suppliers, partners and even customers, Anglian Water has unleashed inspiration and driven collaboration throughout the business and wider supply chain.  Ghislain Juvanon will explain how the Shop Window programme has successfully provided solutions to some of the most pressing industry challenges.

Ghislain Juvanon Anglian Water
Ghislain Juvanon

Shop Window Programme Manager , Anglian Water

Case Study | Scottish Water

Home-grown data analytics

Data analytics is on the rise. Robert Murray will discuss Scottish Water’s hugely successful asset management analytics model and his plans for the future.

Robert Murray

Head of Analytics , Scottish Water

Case study | Thames Water

Virtual Reality and employee wellbeing

Mental health and stress leave is a recurring issue for the water industry. Aimmee Cain will explore how Thames have introduced a health and wellbeing strategy that has led to an 80% reduction in work related illness absence in 5 years.  Karl will talk through how technology is being used to support mental health by presenting the first mental health VR programme where employees can be immersed in a world where they experience personally the effects of negative mental stressors. VR is driving improvements in employee relationships and challenging behaviors that drive mental health and employee absences.

Aimee Cain
Aimee Cain

Occupational Health & Wellbeing Manager , Thames Water





Session 5

Looking long-term – addressing infrastructure in AMP 7 and beyond


Managing assets: balancing maintenance costs with customer expectations

• How can the industry make best use of data to predict maintenance needs?
• Which technologies offer the best prospects for asset management?
• How feasible is a widespread adoption of predictive asset management?
• Is it possible to manage customer expectations of outage free water delivery?
• What lessons should be learnt from the big thaw 2018?

Joanne Harrison United Utilities, Future of Utilities Summit 2019
Joanne Harrison

Asset Management Director , United Utilities


Title to be confirmed

Gordon McCreath

Partner , Pinsent Masons

Panel discussion

Traversing the AMP7 Landscape

• Is there sufficient data to understand asset lifespan accurately?
• How prepared is the industry to deal with the upcoming influx of data?
• What impact is technological innovation having on the cost of infrastructure replacement?
• Is a totex led approach now embedded throughout the industry?
• Living with a reduced WACC: Implications for the AMP7 program

David Smith

Director of Asset Management , Bristol Water

Joanne Harrison United Utilities, Future of Utilities Summit 2019
Joanne Harrison

Asset Management Director , United Utilities

Chris Royce Anglian
Chris Royce

Head of Strategic Asset Management , Anglian Water

Gordon McCreath

Partner , Pinsent Masons

Malcolm Horne

Director of Environment , Severn Trent

Session 6

PR19 Progress

Keynote address

A customer-focused business: Ofwat’s plans for the water companies in 2019

Rachel Fletcher
Rachel Fletcher

Chief Executive Officer , OFWAT




Chair’s closing remarks followed by a drinks reception

Karma Loveday

Editor , The Water Report


Chair's opening remarks - Martin Blaiklock, Independent Consultant of Energy, Infrastructure and Utility Finance

Session 7

Water retail market – an assessment 18 months on


The Open Market: MOSL’s current perspective and future predictions

Chris Scoggins will be discussing the first 18 months of the retail market and contemplating what the data suggests for the future.

Steve Arthur Mosl
Steve Arthur

Director of Market Performance , MOSL


A customer perspective of the water retail market

• What do non-household customers want from their water supplier?
• What customer service benefits have been delivered?
• What additional service do customers most value from water retailers?
• What improvements are needed from retailers to encourage more businesses to switch?

Russell Knight | Heathrow Airport
Russell Knight

Environment Operations Manager , Heathrow Airport



Panel discussion

Narrow Margins: adding value in the water retail market

• What are the implications of tight profit margins for companies in the water retail market?
• How are water retailers best able to add value to the service they provide customers?
• What improvements are needed from wholesalers in order to improve the market?
• What are the possible solutions to the data issues facing retailers?
• What is Ofwat’s role in the retail market, how have they compared to Ofgem and WICS?
• How can retailers engage SMEs in the market?
• What role can Third Party Intermediaries play in helping to improve market access?

Nish Dattani

Managing Director , First Business Water

Johanna Dow
Johanna Dow

Chief Executive , Business Stream

Helen Gillett
Helen Gillett

Managing Director , Affinity for Business



Session 8

In it for the long run – sustainability in wastewater


Proactive monitoring: Flow Compliance and Pollution Incident Reduction

• What impact will proactive monitoring have on operations at sewage treatment facilities?
• Has the industry been active enough in self-reporting of incidents?
• What will future Environment Agency enforcement look like?

Dominic Shepherd
Dominic Shepherd

Water Quality Manager , Environment Agency



Panel discussion

Forward planning in water and waste resilience

• To what extent has the WRMPs been successful in achieving aims so far?
• What lessons can be learnt from WRMPs when implementing waste management programmes?
• To what extent will the elective nature of these programmes limit effectiveness?
• How important will data collaboration between both programmes be going into the future?
• Environmental improvements: to what extent are water companies ‘bearing the burden’?
• What makes an effective customer awareness programme?
• What are the insurmountable limitations of customer awareness programmes?
• What pragmatic steps can be taken to tackle the micro-plastic epidemic?
• How effective has a ‘Forward Metric’ been in water and how can it be applied to waste?
• What lessons can be learnt from the devolved nations’ compliance and long-term planning approach?

Tony Harrington
Tony Harrington

Director of Environment , Dwr Cymru Welsh Water

Paddy Brow
Paddy Brow

Head of Living with Water Programme , NI Water

Mike Keil
Mike Keil

Head of Policy and Research , Consumer Council for Water

Steve Kaye
Steve Kaye

Chief Executive , UKWIR

Case Study | Northumbrian Water

Pioneers in sludge: chasing efficiency in bio-resources

The official opening of the bio-resource market in 2 years’ time promises to unleash a whole host of opportunities and innovations in wastewater. From transportation to grid injection, exchangeable sludge has revolutionised the potential for outsourcing and specialisation. Graham Southall will discuss Northumbrian Water’s early efforts to expand its bio-resource operations ahead of 2020 and his anticipations for the future.

Graham Southall
Graham Southall

Commercial Director , Northumbrian Water





Session 9

Addressing water resilience – balancing resources and demand


Living with Water – A collaborative approach to resilience in Hull

• What makes Hull so liable to flooding?
• How has input from multiple stakeholders improved outcomes on this project?
• Does engagement from consultants and charities drive a more holistic approach to resilience?
• How will the data from Hull be used to provide a framework for improving water resilience?
• What scope is there for charitable organisations to develop infrastructure changes in future?

Lee Pitcher
Lee Pitcher

Director of Resilience , Yorkshire Water

Case study | Cape Town

Exploring the lessons to be learnt from the Cape Town drought crisis

Cape Town’s water crisis highlights the vulnerability that large cities face to their water supply, with London mentioned as one of the ten most at risk cities. In this session Dr Helen Gavin will explore the lessons that can be learnt from the crisis in order to avoid such dramatic water supply issues in future droughts.

Helen Gavin
Dr Helen Gavin

Project Leader, MaRius and WRSE Project , Oxford University



Panel discussion

The role of water companies in encouraging and delivering water resilience

• How can the water industry encourage greater customer awareness of water resilience?
• Has a failure to tackle leakage reduced customer receptiveness to water conservation?
• What role can water retailers play in encouraging water efficiency?
• How do we encourage behavioural change to lower general water consumption?
• How can water companies be involved in the planning of the five new garden cities?
• What new innovations will help deliver improvements to resilience planning?
• Is there an overemphasis on droughts in responding to resilience, at the expense of flooding?
• Should we be preparing for cyber-attacks in the near future?

Alison Hoyle Southern Water
Alison Hoyle

Compliance and Asset Resilience Director , Southern Water

Paul Valleley

Director of Water Services , Anglian Water

Iain McGuffog
Iain McGuffog

Director of Strategy and Regulation , Bristol Water

Alan Turner

Water Resources Manager , Kent County Council

Session 10

Climate Change and Water


Preparing for a drier future

Phil Graham

Chief Executive , National Infrastructure Commission




Chair’s closing remarks and end of conference

Martin Blaiklock
Martin Blaiklock

Independent Consultant

Past Sponsors

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2 day conference pass, lunch, refreshments and a drinks reception.

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15% off

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