A framework to support greater resilience in the drainage and wastewater management plans prepared by water utilities in England and Wales is to be developed under a contract awarded to consultancy Atkins.
According to an announcement from Atkins, there is currently no statutory requirement for water companies to produce long-term drainage and wastewater plans. It says that a new framework is much needed and that the UK government, the Welsh government and Ofwat, the economic regulator of the sector in England and Wales, have all highlighted the need for the water industry to make improvements to its current approach to long-term drainange and wastewater planning.
The contract was awarded by water industry trade body Water UK, and the new framework is due to be published in late summer this year. Water utilities currently have flexibility in producing their own plans under broad guidelines. According to Atkins, the framework will build on the Drainage Strategy Framework, published by Ofwat and the Environment Agency in May 2013, and the more recent work of the 21st Century Drainage Programme.
In the statement released by Atkins, project director Brian Arkell is quoted as saying: ‘The need to provide a guiding framework for the long-term planning of drainage and wastewater services that can be applied across England and Wales, and potentially have relevance for other parts the UK, has never been so clear. Population growth, new development, urban creep and climate change are all putting increasing pressure on our drainage systems.’
Atkins is a member of the SNC-Lavalin group.
- UK, Atkins, sewer networks