Policing 2012

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Future Water 2013
Building resilience: A sector fit for the future
Royal Geographical Society, 25 June 2013

Conference Programme
subject to change


Registration and exhibition viewing


Welcome and introduction from the conference chair

John Vidal, Environment Editor, Guardian

Morning session
Building resilience

Morning panel debate

Building a water sector fit for the future

Which policies will influence the next phase of development for the UK water sector? Panellists will explore how the sector can remain resilient financially, technologically and environmentally in the future and how customers can benefit from the next stage of reforms.

  • Anne McIntosh MP, Chair of HoC EFRA Select Committee
  • Ian Barker, Head of Water Land and Biodiversity, Environment Agency
  • Tony Smith, Chief Executive, CC Water
  • Alan Sutherland, Water Commission for Scotland

Keynote address
What the Water Bill means for the sector

Sonia Phippard, Director Water, Floods, Environmental Risk and Regulation DEFRA

Followed by Q&A

11.30 Coffee, networking and exhibition


John Vidal “in conversation” with John Penrose MP

Getting a better deal for the consumer?

John Penrose MP’s recent report, “We Deserve Better: Replacing Failed Economic Regulators With Consumer Reforms, So We All Get A Better Deal On Our Utilities” received a lot of public attention. This “in conversation” session will explore how water consumers might benefit from regulatory reform and switch suppliers in key utility markets.

This will be an interactive session, where delegates will be encouraged to participate with questions and comments.

12.30 Lunch, networking and exhibition
Afternoon session
Securing resilience

Workshop sessions

Delegates can chose to take part in one of the workshop sessions. Each session will focus on new innovations and perspectives; and how best to secure resilience and build a sector for it for the future.

Workshop 1 - The British Ecological Society
The Impact of Extreme Events on Freshwater Ecosystems: Developing Ecological Resilience

Presented by Dr Iwan Jones, Carlos Abrahams and Dr Francois Edwards

As part of its centenary celebrations, the British Ecological Society has re-launched its ‘Ecological Issues’ series with a publication focusing on the ecological impact of extreme floods, droughts and heatwaves on UK freshwater systems. The publication aims to raise political awareness of the ecological effects of these events, but what are the practicalities and politics of the ‘soft’ engineering solutions that could represent ‘win-win’ for people and the environment? What is the best way to develop ecological resilience in our rivers, lakes and ponds?

Workshop 2 - International Water Association
The Nexus Dialogue on Water Infrastructure Solutions

Facilitated by Damian Crilly

The ‘Nexus Dialogue on Water Infrastructure Solutions’ is a call to action to those leading transformations in water infrastructure planning, financing and operation. The Nexus Dialogue is future-focused, examining how engineered and nature-based water infrastructure and technology are currently being used and can be made more functional and sustainable, to secure water, energy generation and food production while balancing environmental, social and economic issues.

The Dialogue will help to identify and share water infrastructure and technology solutions for the water-energy-food security nexus. More complete and broad cross-sectoral thinking is required to deal with the challenges around water, energy and food production efficiencies, trade-offs, and cross-sectoral impacts.

This workshop will share ‘best-practice’ success stories in water infrastructure operation and innovation and cross-sectoral vision that combines best available technology, know-how and experiences.

Workshop 3 - i2O Water

What would it take for the UK to lead the emerging smart water sector?

Climate change, a burgeoning population, pressure on resources – these are some of the big drivers stimulating the need for more sophisticated approaches to water treatment and distribution. This offers strong growth opportunities for companies who can become leaders in the emerging smart water technology sector. This workshop will discuss key actions the UK could take position itself at the forefront of that economic growth. 

Drawing on the perspective of water utilities, government strategy and policy regulators, tier one supply chain companies and high-tech SMEs, the panel will address these key questions:

  • What role could regulation play in stimulating the innovation necessary for the UK to establish a leadership position?
  • How do we best create an environment of collaboration between academia, government and regulators to support that?
  • Are there specific government policies beyond regulation that could help stimulate change?
  • What would help the water utilities to lead best practice on a global basis in this area?
  • How do we best support and stimulate supply chain tier one providers and SMEs to succeed on an international basis?

Welcome and introduction from the conference chair

John Vidal, Environment Editor, Guardian


Keynote address
Environmental Challenges Facing The Water Sector – A Meteorologist’s Perspective

Dr Vicky Pope, Head of Integration and Growth, Met Office

In an increasingly resource hungry world our dependence on the environment generally and water in particular is becoming ever more apparent. A better understanding of how rainfall and other aspects of the weather affect these resources now and in a changing world is an important factor in securing resilience for the water sector. Dr Pope will illustrate some of the environmental challenges that face us and talk about the ways that the Met Office working with partners is developing tools and services to the meet the challenges.

Followed by Q&A


International innovations forum

Learning from international best practice

Our panellists will explore international innovation and best practice, with contributions from leading figures in the UK who work internationally and are pioneering research and solutions to meet shared international challenges. This session will compare and contrast the UK with other countries and discuss the research and innovation taking place to meet shared international and environmental challenges.

  • Adam Kingdon, Chief Executive, i2O Water
  • Mark Lane, Chair, Business and Economy Working Group, UK Water Research and Innovation Partnership (UKWRIP)
  • Dr Vicky Pope, Head of Integration and Growth, Met Office

Closing address
Securing better regulation today and more resilience tomorrow

Andrew Beaver, Director of Strategy, Ofwat

Followed by Q&A

16.00 Closing remarks from the Chair







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