Ricardo water practice grows as UK customers aim for strategic resilience
Ricardo has secured multiple new framework agreements with UK water companies – providing consulting support across a range of environmental and water resource planning areas of specialization – representing a significant increase in business for its water sector practice
The strategic agenda for the water industry in England and Wales is defined by the economic regulator, Ofwat, in its five-year asset management planning periods. For the seventh control period (AMP7) which runs from 2020 to 2025, key themes of focus include customer service and affordability, long-term financial, corporate and operational resilience, and innovation. Ensuring companies can meet future water demands is a key area of investment with up to £469m allocated in England alone for planning of future strategic integration of resources between regions, in addition to funding for schemes within each water company region.
Since December 2019, Ricardo has secured framework agreements with many of the largest water companies – including Southern Water, United Utilities, Dŵr Cymru/Welsh Water, Yorkshire Water, Thames Water and Bristol Water – to support them in planning the long term future for sustainable water resources. Under the terms of these flexible agreements, the water companies can draw upon a wide range of Ricardo services, technologies and expertise, as they strive to deliver the outcomes agreed with Ofwat under AMP7. Ricardo’s expertise in delivering services under these framework agreements focuses on initiatives and projects including on strategic environmental assessments, terrestrial and aquatic ecology surveys, habitats regulations assessment and water framework directive assessments.
Ricardo has already begun work across a number of the new framework agreements. Even during the Covid-19 pandemic the company’s experts have been providing support to maintain momentum in development of strategic water resource options to help meet the regulatory deadlines.
Rupert Kruger, Ricardo’s water practice director, commented: “The new framework agreements we have secured with the major water sector utility companies – and the resulting opportunities that arise from them – will be a significant contribution to the development of the UK’s water sector over the next five years. This is testament to the depth of expertise of our multidisciplinary team of water industry experts. As a team we are proud of the assistance we can provide to water companies as they strive to improve the strategic resilience of our critical national water infrastructure and ensure that future generations have the water that they need.”