UK water industry leaders discuss direction of regulation with Black & Veatch

Oct. 28, 2010
REDHILL, Surrey, UK, Oct. 28, 2010 -- Dan McCarthy, President and CEO of Black & Veatch's global water business, has joined senior representatives from the UK's parliament, water companies, and water industry regulators, in discussions concerning the current regulatory regime's capacity to meet future challenges...

REDHILL, Surrey, UK, Oct. 28, 2010 -- Dan McCarthy, President and CEO of Black & Veatch's global water business, has joined senior representatives from the UK's parliament, water companies, and water industry regulators, in discussions concerning the current regulatory regime's capacity to meet future challenges.

Against the backdrop of the Cave and Walker reviews, members of parliament are currently involved in a number of initiatives to assess changes to the sector's regulatory framework. These include the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) review of Ofwat and the DEFRA Water White Paper. Other stakeholders -- Ofwat, Severn Trent and Water UK among them -- have contributed to this discourse with reports of their own.

The roundtable brought together representatives from all of these constituencies to discuss their aspirations, and outline their predictions, for the future shape of water industry regulation in the UK.

The proposition under discussion was: How does regulation of the UK water industry need to change in the new economic and environmental climate? The participants were Regina Finn, CEO, Ofwat; Ian Barker, Head of Water, Environment Agency; Janet Wright, Co-author, Cave Review; Dan McCarthy of Black & Veatch; Anne McIntosh MP, Chair, All Party Parliamentary Water Group; Tony Ballance, Director, Strategy and Regulation, Severn Trent Water; Jean Spencer, Director of Regulation and Executive Director, Anglian Water; Mark Braithwaite, CFO, Thames Water; Belinda Oldfield, Director of Regulation, Scottish Water. Chairing the debate was Bob Baty, former Executive Director, South West Water.

Most participants agreed that climatic, economic and social changes mean the current regulatory system may no longer be able to ensure the levels of performance the industry has achieved since privatization in 1989. Other key points included:

• Competition has a role to play in meeting the new challenges, but it is not a panacea
• There is a need to raise customer awareness about the economic, social and environmental value of water
• Clarity is required about legislators' long-term goals for the water sector

The roundtable was organized by the publication Water & Wastewater Treatment in partnership with Black & Veatch.

About Black & Veatch
Black & Veatch is a leading global engineering, consulting and construction company specializing in infrastructure development in energy, water, telecommunications, management consulting, federal and environmental markets. Founded in 1915, Black & Veatch develops tailored infrastructure solutions that meet clients' needs and provide sustainable benefits. Solutions are provided from the broad line of service expertise available within Black & Veatch, including conceptual and preliminary engineering services, engineering design, procurement, construction, financial management, asset management, program management, construction management, environmental, security design and consulting, management consulting and infrastructure planning. With $2.7 billion in revenue, the employee-owned company has more than 100 offices worldwide and has completed projects in more than 100 countries on six continents.

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