Our role and expectations for WRMP19 Ofwat is a statutory consultee for WRMP19 and contributed to the Water Resources Planning Guidelines issued by the Environment Agency and Natural Resources Wales that companies follow in preparing their plan.
Defra and the Welsh Government have also provided guiding principles for companies to follow when developing their plans. These cover items such as addressing long-term issues and resilience, protecting the environment, and a focus on demand management, especially leakage.
WRMPs are prepared at a company level, though two groups – Water Resources East (WRE) and Water Resources South East (WRSE) are developing regional water resources strategies that will be reflected in individual company WRMPs.
We expect companies to integrate their WRMP processes into their mainstream business planning and reflect as far as possible their WRMPs in their business plans. Companies should incorporate outputs from regional and national groups and studies into the development of their plans. WRMPs should be considered an important tool for identifying and planning investments for resilient long-term water resources.
In December 2016 we sent a letter which outlined our approach to WRMP19 pre-consultation, which was to hold, at least one meeting, with every large water company in England and Wales. The meetings were structured around our published briefing pack, which is a walkthrough of the WRMP process. These meetings enabled us to provide early feedback and challenge, and also discuss and identify areas which may require more justification in WRMPs.
Draft plans for WRMP19 are due for public consultation (12 weeks) from January 2018 for English water companies and March 2018 for Welsh water companies. Based on responses to the consultation, water companies will revise their plans and submit them to Government for final approval.
Ofwat’s views on companies’ draft WRMP19 plans
As a statutory consultee we will make representations to the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs or Welsh ministers on companies’ draft plans. Our feedback will be published on our website for transparency and linked below.