The UK’s premier water industry event

19 – 20 November 2019
Hilton Tower Bridge, London

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The UK’s premier water industry event

Innovation is a core enabler for customer service, resilience, affordability and vulnerability. To help you deliver on your innovation commitments and step-up to the challenge, Future of Utilities: Water 2019 has a jam-packed programme filled with new ideas, top-level speakers and sessions you won’t find anywhere else.

Keynote Speakers

Peter Simpson

Chief Executive Officer

Anglian Water

Peter has been Chief Executive of Anglian Water Group since October 2013, and was previously MD of Anglian Water from January 2010, and Chief Operating Officer from 2004.

He will be speaking on how to put your workforce front and centre, focusing on why diversity fuels innovation acroos an organisation, and how human and robotic inputs complement each other. He will also be joining our leaders’ forum to discuss how PR19 will impact the industry.

Chris Jones

Chief Executive Officer

Dwr Cymru Welsh Water

Appointed Chief Executive Officer of Glas Cymru in September 2013, Chris was previously Finance Director of Glas Cymru from April 2000 and of Welsh Water from May 2001. 

Chris will be speaking on how to find the sweet spot between long-term investment and affordability, how to sustain a low cost-to-serve approach whilst investing more, and leveraging new technologies to innovate to meet PR19 priorities. He will also be joining our leaders’ forum to discuss how PR19 will impact the industry.

Keynote Speakers

Peter Simpson

Chief Executive Officer
Anglian Water

Peter has been Chief Executive of Anglian Water Group since October 2013, and was previously MD of Anglian Water from January 2010, and Chief Operating Officer from 2004.

Join him to learn the view from the top on how to put your workforce front and centre, why diversity fuels innovation across an organisation, and how human and robotic inputs complement each other. He will also be joining our leaders’ forum to discuss how PR19 will impact the industry.

Chris Jones

Chief Executive Officer
Dwr Cymru Welsh Water

Appointed Chief Executive Officer of Glas Cymru in September 2013, Chris was previously Finance Director of Glas Cymru from April 2000 and of Welsh Water from May 2001.

Finding the sweet spot between long-term investment and affordability is always a balance. Join Chris as he shares what Dwr Cymru has learnt from building reserves with financing efficiency savings to benefit its customers. He’ll be exploring how to sustain a low cost-to-serve approach whilst investing more, and leveraging new technologies to innovate to meet PR19 priorities. He will also be joining our leaders’ forum to discuss how PR19 will impact the industry.

Speakers

Chris-Jones-Welsh-Water

Chris Jones

Chief Executive Officer, Dwr Cymru Welsh Water

Peter-Simpson-Anglian Water

Peter Simpson

Chief Executive Officer, Anglian Water

David-Black-Ofwat

David Black

Senior Director, Water 2020, Ofwat

Nigel Watson, Northumbrian Water

Nigel Watson

Group Chief Information Officer, Northumbrian Water Group

Jerry White, Thames Water

Jerry White

Chief Information Officer, Operations, Thames Digital, Thames Water

Claire Sharp, Northumbrian Water

Claire Sharp

Customer Director, Northumbrian Water

James-Richardson, NIC

James Richardson

Chief Economist, National Infrastructure Commission

Bob Taylor, Portsmouth Water Future of Utilities

Bob Taylor

Chief Executive Officer, Portsmouth Water

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Innovation Hub

At Future of Utilities: Water this year, the focus is on innovation. In order to meet the challenges set for the industry by Ofwat, and to deliver benefits to customers, water executives need to step-up and companies need to embed innovation at their core. Get serious about driving innovation in water and join your peers at the Innovation Hub in November.

The Innovation Festival: an after-party debrief

A cleaner, greener way to tackle urban drainage

Mapping lakes and riverbeds: an eco-friendly solution to
environmental standards

Nigel Watson, Group Chief Information Officer, Northumbrian Water Group

Lorna Davis, Co-Founder, SuDsPlanter

Joost Den Haan, Co-Founder, PlanBlue

Agenda

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Day 1 Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Day 2 Wednesday, 20 November 2019

09.30

Welcome address and chair's opening remarks

Session 1

The regulatory outlook

Keynote address

A view from Ofwat: expectations and priorities across AMP7, PR24 and beyond

• Reflecting on the PR19 process
• What can companies do to meet expectations following PR19?
• How is Ofwat incentivising innovation?
• How might PR19 methodologies impact ODI approaches going into AMP7?
• Should the industry anticipate an equally rigorous approach to PR24?


David-Black-Ofwat
David Black

Senior Director, Water 2020 , Ofwat

Session 2

Stepping up to the innovation challenge

Keynote address

Locating the sweet spot between long-term investment and affordability

  • How can water companies sustain a low-cost-to-serve approach whilst investing more?
  • Adapting the mind-set: responding to immediate challenges with an eye on the long-term
  • Innovating to meet PR19 priorities: leveraging new technology and fresh thinking to cut costs
  • Sustaining a customer-centric approach: ensuring customer consent on big-ticket spending

Chris-Jones-Welsh-Water
Chris Jones

Chief Executive Officer , Dwr Cymru Welsh Water

Keynote address

A people-driven transformation: putting your workforce front and centre

  • Sourcing innovation internally: encouraging the frontline workforce to articulate their ideas
  • Why is greater diversity across an organisation important in fuelling innovation?
  • With the advent of AI, how can human and robotic inputs complement each other?

Peter-Simpson-Anglian Water
Peter Simpson

Chief Executive Officer , Anglian Water

Leaders’ Forum

Preparing for a brave new world: the post PR19 outlook

  • Innovation, customers, cost-cutting and resilience: how can the industry meet PR19 promises?
  • Understanding what customers want: how can water become a customer-centric industry?
  • Does water need to address cultural challenges before implementing new tech?
  • Is competition or collaboration the ultimate way to motivate effective innovation?
  • What are the limitations to collaboration under the current system?
  • How will the new approach of PR19 impact the industry?
  • How will a reduced WACC change the culture and management of water companies?

Chris-Jones-Welsh-Water
Chris Jones

Chief Executive Officer , Dwr Cymru Welsh Water

Peter-Simpson-Anglian Water
Peter Simpson

Chief Executive Officer , Anglian Water

Bob Taylor, Portsmouth Water Future of Utilities
Bob Taylor

Chief Executive Officer , Portsmouth Water

Session 3

Optimising assets in the 21st century | Striving for customer excellence

Blue Stage: Optimising assets in the 21st century
Red Stage: Striving for customer excellence
Case study | Portsmouth Water

Leveraging customer engagement and tech to drastically reduce leakage

Cutting leakage rates remain a huge priority for WASCs and WOCs alike as the sector transitions into AMP7. In this session, Bob Taylor will explore how Portsmouth Water’s relatively low-cost approach to this thorny issue has been a ground-breaking success. Through a mixture of underground sensor technology and public engagement to identify leaks faster, the company has seen a 40% reduction since 2015.


Bob Taylor, Portsmouth Water Future of Utilities
Bob Taylor

Chief Executive Officer , Portsmouth Water

Panel discussion

Managing assets in the digital water era

  • The power of predictive analytics: proactively monitoring the network to prevent incidents before they happen
  • Driving asset efficiency: to what extent can the capacity of assets improve without physically changing?
  • Extending asset-life with new technologies: what are the options?
  • Building a picture of your assets: what is digital twinning?
  • Has ‘digital water’ encouraged more maintenance of existing assets or building from scratch?
  • Where is partnering and collaboration critical?

Bob Taylor, Portsmouth Water Future of Utilities
Bob Taylor

Chief Executive Officer , Portsmouth Water

Nigel Watson, Northumbrian Water
Nigel Watson

Group Chief Information Officer , Northumbrian Water Group

David Smith

Director of Asset Management , Bristol Water

Ivan-Stoianov,-Imperial-College-London
Ivan Stoianov

Senior Lecturer in Water Systems Engineering , Imperial College London

Defining a fantastic customer experience in water

  • How can water companies better identify what their customers want?
  • Going local: why is reflecting the regional priorities in your customer service so critical?
  • What is the role of customer segmentation in improving services?
  • Implementing real-time response to challenges: meeting the modern customer expectations of service
  • Ensuring customers walk away satisfied: designing successful feedback mechanisms from customers and the frontline

Claire Sharp, Northumbrian Water
Claire Sharp

Customer Director , Northumbrian Water

Becoming a customer native: speaking the language of customer-centricity

  • What does customer-centricity mean in practice?
  • Why should water seek to become more customer centric?
  • How do you demonstrate to customers that they are your top priority?
  • Reviewing the annual billing process: can the industry design a more customer-friendly approach?
  • Moving away from ‘them vs. us’ language: complaints handling 101

Steve-George, South East Water
Steve George

Customer Services Director , South East Water

Session 4

Data-driven decision making for improved incident response | Insight-driven customer experience

Blue Stage: Data-driven decision making for improved incident response
Red Stage: Insight-driven customer experience
Case study | South East Water

Assessing the impact of smart networks when it matters most


Richard Sands, South East Water
Richard Sands

Head of Asset Management , South East Water

Reacting to extreme weather occurrences: perfecting the real-time response

  • Predicting supply and demand with closer accuracy: preparing for a more uncertain future
  • Ensuring you have capacity for a quick real-time response
  • Encouraging wider engagement to help identify leaks faster
  • Learnings from Beast from the East and the heatwave: is the industry ready?

Jason Tucker

Director of Strategic Delivery & Commercial , Anglian Water

Taking your relationship to the next level: leveraging digital interactions to understand customer needs

  • Creating the right feedback loops: utilising interactions to inform wider CX strategies
  • Identifying new sources of customer data to make better informed decisions
  • Voice, chatbots, texts and letters: why considering every medium is vital for customers of the future

Panel discussion

Keeping pace with the customer revolution

  • What does the ‘customer revolution’ mean for water?
  • With customer preferences and behaviours evolving so rapidly, what are the key challenges when it comes to effective communication?
  • Getting the digital strategy right: what are customers expecting when they google your name?
  • Speed, convenience or engagement: what’s the secret to an amazing digital customer experience?
  • What do current customer experience offerings lack and is new tech the best solution?
  • Which communication tools should water companies have a handle on, and where should they be looking to next?
  • Raising the benchmark: what are the benefits to looking outside of your own industry?
  • Taking the right advice and implementing the right tech: what can the industry learn from third parties?

Oliver Driscoll

Head of Wholesale Management , Business Stream

Session 5

Progressing toward a smarter water industry | The keys to customer engagement

Blue Stage: Progressing toward a smarter water industry
Red Stage: The keys to customer engagement

Investing in digital to deliver value for the industry


Panel discussion

Systems thinking: joining up the dots for a connected, intelligent infrastructure

  • What does ‘systems thinking’ mean for water?
  • How can companies leverage existing data to its full potential?
  • What are the best ways to extract data out of silos?
  • How can you effectively utilise data-driven predictive analytics for meaningful insights?
  • Linking up sensors, communication channels and data centres to create a truly ‘smart infrastructure’
  • The coming of 5G: how vital will this be in creating a smarter, connected infrastructure?
  • A case for legacy overhaul: are current IT infrastructures fit for purpose?
  • How can collaboration and third parties help to inform strategic decision making?

Jerry White, Thames Water
Jerry White

Chief Information Officer, Operations, Thames Digital , Thames Water

Tom Kelly, SES Water
Tom Kelly

Wholesale Services Director , SES Water

Panel discussion

Outlining a strategy for sustained engagement

  • What are the existing engagement strategies and how could they improve?
  • How did the PR19 customer consultation impact customer engagement approaches?
  • What lessons can be learnt from the ‘right to flush’ campaign when it comes to collaboration?
  • If price doesn’t incentivise lower consumption, is environmentalism a better strategy?
  • To what extent will customers lack awareness of consumption challenges as long as water goes unmetered?
  • Establishing a culture of customer participation: select panels, site visits and local community engagement
  • Is there a case for a renewed use of behavioural economics and nudging to reduce consumption patterns?
  • Facing vulnerable customer challenges head on: does responsibility fall solely on industry shoulders?

Tony Smith Speaker Photo
Tony Smith

Chief Executive Officer , Consumer Council for Water

Alun Shurmer, Welsh Water
Alun Shurmer

Director of Customer Strategy & Communications , Dwr Cymru Welsh Water

Rachel-Dyson, Anglian Water
Rachel Dyson

Behavioural Change Programme Manager , Anglian Water

Session 6

The road to trust and legitimacy

Defining and implementing a social contract for water

  • What is the social contract in the context of water?
  • Building a cohesive national framework with regionalised priorities: what are the challenges?
  • Should water companies wait for the regulator or should they act themselves?
  • How will a social contract approach help to meet PR19 and environmental priorities?

Alex Plant | Anglian Water
Alex Plant

Regulation Director , Anglian Water

Chair’s closing remarks and drinks reception

09.00

Chair’s opening remarks

Session 7

Addressing the regulation challenge

What can we learn from past approaches to water regulation?


Nick-Fincham, Thames Water
Nick Fincham

Strategy and Regulation Director , Thames Water

Keynote address

Reviewing economic regulation in utilities: the shape of water regulation

  • How might the cross-utility assessment of regulation be set to impact water specifically?
  • Does current economic regulation prepare water companies for long-term challenges?
  • Does the existing 5-year price review cycle incentivise the right behaviours?
  • What are the mutual challenges facing network industries?
  • Given the similar set of challenges for network industries, might regulatory integration occur?

James-Richardson, NIC
James Richardson

Chief Economist , National Infrastructure Commission

Session 8

Delivering on PR19 promises

Panel discussion

Challenging the status quo: the who, where and how of innovating

  • What are the current barriers preventing greater cost-efficiency and innovation?
  • Taking the lead from regulation: is it wise to make risky choices without explicit consent?
  • How could cross-industry technology trailing and better standardisation cut costs?
  • Is it a question of revolutionising existing practices or making incremental changes?
  • Should stakeholders be involved to help drive more innovation or is it an internal process?
  • How can companies take a new supply-chain approach without risking inflated costs?
  • Schmoozing start-ups: what are the risks and benefits involved working with new suppliers?
  • DPC vs. single tender: could a fresh approach to procurement drive change?

Mel-Karam-Bristol-water
Mel Karam

Chief Executive Officer , Bristol Water

Nick-Fincham, Thames Water
Nick Fincham

Strategy and Regulation Director , Thames Water

Session 9

The innovation zone

Case study | Northumbrian Water Group

The Innovation Festival: an after-party debrief

  • Post-Innovation Festival: what interesting connections and collaborations have been made?
  • What makes the Innovation Festival so successful at drawing out new ideas?
  • How can water companies become more closely involved with the festival?
  • What’s the benefit to having conversations with out-of-industry players?

Nigel Watson, Northumbrian Water
Nigel Watson

Group Chief Information Officer , Northumbrian Water Group

Demo | SuDsPlanter

A cleaner, greener way to tackle urban drainage

SuDsPlanter provide local communities with solutions to their urban drainage challenges in an environmentally sustainable way. The SuDsPlanter is a ‘Sustainable Drainage System’, designed to manage rainwater run-off from domestic, commercial and industrial roofs.  It reduces the risk of flooding in the sewer network and improves water quality to our streams and rivers, creating a healthier, more sustainable environment. Lorna Davis will discuss how SuDsPlanter’s experience demonstrates the vital role small-scale suppliers can play in creating a more environmentally focused and locally engaged water industry.


Lorna Davis

Co-Founder , SuDsPlanter

Demo | PlanBlue

Mapping lakes and riverbeds: an eco-friendly solution to environmental standards

PlanBlue developed an underwater camera that can scan the floor of river and lakebeds. This technology provides the opportunity to ensure that water bodies are healthy, home to a rich bio-diversity and environmentally up to scratch. As an exciting new start-up, PlanBlue is a fantastic example of the kind of partnerships water companies can make to drive innovation and introduce new approaches.


Joost-Den-Haan, PlanBlue
Joost Den Haan

Co-Founder , PlanBlue

Session 10

A strategic vision for a sustainable economy

Panel discussion

The role of water in the circular economy

  • What does the ‘circular economy’ mean and how does it relate to water?
  • What is the role of sustainable accounting and catchment management in a circular economy?
  • What opportunities are there for a new market from chemical extraction in wastewater?
  • Is there a sufficient level of cost-effective technology that could drive the growth of a market?
  • What can be learnt from the Netherlands model of a circular economy digital marketplace?
  • How can learnings from the bio-resource market apply to the wider circular economy market?

Dan-Green
Dan Green

Head of Innovation & Sustainability , Wessex Water

Gordon Rogers Yorkshire Water Future of Utilities
Gordon Rogers

Head of Sustainability , Yorkshire Water

Session 11

The future of the water market with a more interventionist government

Keynote address

Taking the temperature on the nationalisation debate: Private? State run? Mutual?

  • The Labour Party position: where does it now stand?
  • How much support is there for a mutualisation model across the House?
  • How should water companies respond to the concerns of the public and politicians?
  • Would a mutualisation model deliver fair value to exiting shareholders?
  • Could waning public support for water renationalisation cause labour to reassess their policy?

Gareth Thomas, Labour Party
Gareth Thomas

MP - Harrow West , Labour Party

Session 12

Taking a long-term view on the water resource challenge

Case Study | Water Resources in the South East

Planning for a more resilient future: the secret to successful regional integration

  • Has WRSE proved a successful model in encouraging regional long-term resilience planning?
  • What are the challenges to regional agreement and how do you balance competing priorities?
  • How has input from local stakeholders impacted the process and outcome?
  • What are the benefits to giving regional committees more teeth and what are the challenges?

Trevor Bishop WRSE
Trevor Bishop

Organisational Development Director , Water Resources South East

Keynote address

Exploring the Water Industry National Environment Plan

  • How has the WINEP improved environmental standards so far?
  • How will WINEP be impacting environmental standards and ODIs during AMP7?
  • Should the industry anticipate regulatory collaboration when it comes to enforcing standards?

Anne Dacey

Deputy Director of Integrated Water Planning , Environment Agency

Chair’s closing remarks and end of conference

 

 

REASONS TO ATTEND

 

 

 

Must-See Sessions

 

“Some lively debates and a great opportunity to connect with people in the Water Industry to discuss the latest topics and challenges.”

Chief Executive, Wave

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