In the Water White Paper the Government said that it “will work with Ofwat and Environment Agency to ensure a more strategic approach to drainage planning”. We have therefore worked jointly with the Environment Agency to commission a framework for water companies to use in planning long term strategies for their drainage systems.
Why has Ofwat commissioned this report?
The drainage strategy framework is intended to help water companies, working together with other organisations, to deliver the outcomes that customers need and want. This will mean they have more freedom to decide how to deliver those outcomes. And could lead to new ways of working that can deliver the services customers want, for less money and with less impact on the environment.
Outcomes are likely to be framed at a high level for the water companies’ area. How these outcomes are delivered in a particular catchment will depend on the characteristics of that catchment and the organisations that the water companies work with. The drainage strategy framework sets out principles and best practice for water companies to develop a drainage strategy for a particular catchment that delivers the outcomes customer want.
How will the framework be used?
The framework can be used by water companies to help them to produce drainage strategies. By adopting the framework principles and developing drainage strategies, water companies should be able to provide confidence to all stakeholders that outcomes can be achieved in the long term.
A drainage strategy should help customers and other stakeholders understand how a water company intends to deliver its statutory functions within a particular area in a sustainable and economic manner. It should explain how a water company will do this in conjunction with other organisations, which will also support these partners delivering their functions as well. A drainage strategy should also signal to housing developers and other interested parties how sewerage infrastructure will develop so that they are able to plan accordingly and contribute to economic growth.