08 May 2012

Q&A on water policy in England

Way back in November, I participated in a panel discussion on sustainable water policy in England and Wales. The forum -- hosted by Ofwat (the regulator) -- had several distinguished speakers (PDFs for list of speakers & attendees and summary of the discussion).

What interested me the most was that we, the panel, were told the questions in advance, questions that their submitters then asked "spontaneously."

So here are the (prepared) questions and audio recordings of the answers:
  1. Rose Timlett (WWF) asks: Damage is being done now to sensitive water habitats (like the Kennet). Why aren’t water companies trading more water and reducing the impact on wildlife? What one thing would the panel do to encourage value – and specifically is trading part of the solution? [MP3 of Q&A]

  2. Michael Jack (Former Efra Committee Chair): What can the industry and agriculture do together to avoid the sort of restrictions that were faced by farmers this year? [MP3 of Q&A]

  3. James Brand (Deutsche Bank): Damage is being done now to sensitive water habitats (like the Kennet). Why aren’t water companies trading more water and reducing the impact on wildlife? What one thing would the panel do to encourage value – and specifically is trading part of the solution? [MP3 of Q&A]

  4. Anthony Ferrar (Sutton and East Surrey Water): How will I justify to my household customers the effort going into increased competition for business customers? Can the panel explain why they think this needs to happen, and why households should care? [MP3 of Q&A]

  5. Bob Spears (Chairman, Utility Consumers Consortium): Given the range of environmental and other measures that are included in bills, what would the panel do differently to help combat affordability, both for hard-pressed households and for equally hard-pressed business consumers? [MP3 of Q&A]

  6. Ben Earl (B&Q): What do I say to my customers when they are told they need to buy a low-flow shower head but they don't want to? [MP3 of Q&A]

  7. Lakis Athanasiou (Evo Securities): Is the panel concerned at the possibility of consumer backlash against more and more being loaded on to bills (private sewers, environmental schemes etc.)? What does the panel think should legitimately be included in water customers’ bills? [MP3 of Q&A]

  8. Graham Mather (European Policy Forum): If you were EU president for a day (and didn’t have to worry about the Euro!), what one change would you make to European wide water legislation? [MP3 of Q&A]
Bottom Line: An interesting experience and useful example of how to engage "stakeholders" in a discussion on problems and answers.

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