Assessing the effectiveness of the regulatory framework

Reference: 21/RG/05/56
ISBN: 978-1-84057-914-7
Published Date: 30/03/2021

Frontier Economics was commissioned by UKWIR to identify the priorities of its members for future improvements to economic regulation, and to define scopes of work for future projects to explore these further. To achieve these objectives, Frontier Economics held  interviews with individual water companies to identify their strategic priorities for the future, hosted workshops with all water companies to discuss options and ran a discussion forum with water companies and stakeholders.

Drawing on these discussions, Frontier Economics developed the following scopes of work for future deep dive projects. 

  • How could the regulatory framework better reflect and incentivise long-term investment?
  • How should customers’ and stakeholders’ views be used in regulatory decisions?
  • How can the assessment of risk and reward be enhanced to better articulate the actual risks borne by companies and the calculations be made more consistent across the industry?

This report details these discussions and presents the deep dive scopes.

Price: £200  

Best Practice for Sediment Management for Reservoirs and River Impoundments

Reference: 19/RG/06/5
ISBN: 978-1-84057-881-2
Published Date: 13/11/2019

Sediment management is important to water companies for operational reasons, but also to balance ecological concerns and allow regulatory compliance around these issues. Impounding structures, including those associated with water company activities, commonly alter sediment supply dynamics, which can lead to degradation of operational efficiency of assets. Sediment is a fundamental component of natural fluvial processes and impacts to sediment dynamics can have significant negative consequences for the geomorphology and ecology of a river and its anthropogenic uses.

The research has increased understanding of sediment management issues faced by the water industry and reviewed current UK guidance and regulations with respect to sediment management. Examples of good practice sediment management at impounding structures have been collated into  a comprehensive sediment management manual which consists of step-by-step guidance and 50 evidence sheets covering diverse topics from sourcing sediment for re-introduction to dealing with unforeseen problems.

Price: £250  

Surface Water Assets - A review of the extent of surface water assets in England and Wales

Reference: 19/RG/05/51
ISBN: 978-1-84057-876-8
Published Date: 26/09/2019

The natural drainage of the land has developed into a multitude of assets to facilitate drainage, with varying degrees of regulation and ownership. This multi-ownership of surface water assets makes the management of surface water a protracted and difficult process in resolving surface water problems. There is an emergent debate about how surface water drainage, highway drainage and other surface water assets should be managed to allow a holistic view of the system capacity and address the flooding/environmental risks arising from such systems. This report seeks to inform that debate through an initial quantification of the size, scale, condition and current cost of the asset base, as well as the risks, benefits and regulatory implications associated with any potential change to ownership.

Price: £24  

Intelligent Assets - Condition and Performance Monitoring Techniques

Reference: 18/RG/05/49
ISBN: 1 84057 850 5
Published Date: 09/05/2018

Monitoring of critical assets can provide an early warning of possible failure, allowing early intervention and avoiding or mitigating impacts on customer service. Various ‘Condition and Performance Monitoring Techniques’ (CPMT) exist for this purpose, such as vibration or acoustics measurement, as well as analytical techniques (e.g. processing data to identify trends or detect anomalies). There is a need within the water industry to better understand the CPMT options available and their potential benefits.

Alternative options for CPMT were identified and assessed through a review of published literature. Water companies and CPMT supplier companies were also surveyed on their experiences of CPMT, in order to understand the usage/availability of various types of CPMT, and the success of CPMT implementations.

A framework for CPMT selection was devised based on identifying priority assets where CPMT would be most likely to be beneficial, then shortlisting potential techniques for these assets, and finally evaluating the costs and benefits. The costs and benefits section of the framework is illustrated via generic cost-benefit assessments for a range of common water industry asset types, provided in spreadsheet format on a CD accompanying the project report.

The project included a number of studies to quantify the benefits of CPMT. Data suggest that in many cases there are indeed clear benefits (more than justifying the cost of the CPMT) but the conclusions that could be drawn were restricted by data quality and availability.

One of the outputs from this project was a generic cost-benefit assessment spreadsheet, which provides cost-benefit assessment calculations and realistic quantities relating to asset deterioration rates, asset failure/repair costs etc, for ten commonly used water industry asset types. This spreadsheet might be useful in gauging the potential benefits of CPMT; users can also refine the analysis inputs in order to better represent particular assets at their company.

This spreadsheet is included on the CD. Further explanation and guidance is included within the spreadsheet itself.

Price: £50