In July 2020 Rebecca Pow MP and the water regulators wrote to the CEOs of the water companies inviting them to play their role in the Green Economic Recovery  (see July letter).

The letter pointed out the essential role that the water industry plays in a "successful society, economy and a thriving natural environment". It invited the water sector to accelerate its existing programs and to accelerate planned investment, bring forward future investment and implement new ideas to boost the economy.

The water companies were invited to make specific proposals to:

1)  accelerate their existing plans within the agreed 2020-25 (AMP 7) plans

2)  bring forward "enhancement investment" proposals from 2025 and beyond (AMP 8); and

3)  implement specific new innovative ideas on issues such as water resources, flood      mitigation, net zero or water quality improvements.

There have been a number of meetings since then and a roundtable event on 4 November.  On 25 November, a further letter was sent outlining the process for taking forward any such proposals (see November letter). This letter outlines a 2 stage process whereby acceleration of existing AMP7 plans should start "as soon as possible" and any proposals for additional funding should be submitted "no later than 31 January".  The letter also sets out the details of the regulatory assessment process for any projects that require additional funding.

This move by the Government and the water sector regulators offers real opportunities to the water sector to accelerate its programs and demonstrate that it can be innovative in delivering new solutions, for example in pushing forward on environmental improvements or the delivery of the sector's net zero target.