Ofwat has launched a consultation and is inviting views on what the water sector across England and Wales should look like by 2040.
The regulator believes the water sector can play a “powerful role” in protecting and enhancing the environment and achieving net zero while ensuring system and services are resilient to the impact of climate change and extreme weather.
However, meeting the challenges of the future is likely to bring mounting cost pressures when affordability is an increasing concern.
Ofwat has launched the ‘Future Ideas Lab’ to explore how the regulator, the water sector and wider stakeholders and decision-makers can meet future challenges and help shape the next price review and beyond.
It has set out 12 key questions, including how best to help companies to achieve long term goals such as adapting to climate change, reducing leakage, improving water efficiency and delivery of net zero and how to better use markets to deliver better value to customers and the environment.
David Black, Chief Regulation Officer at Ofwat said: “The water sector faces profound challenges in the years and decades to come but as the regulator – we share this challenge. We want to look towards 2040 and beyond and drive companies to seize opportunities to best meet the needs of customers, communities and the environment.
“As in any industry, water companies will need to adapt and evolve if they are to transform their performance and face the future with confidence.”