Our Library of Research outcome reports

Our published Reports can be accessed below.
All Reports can be accessed free of charge by our members. Reports can be purchased by non-members however a selection are also free to access for non-members.

If you are a Water Company member, please login to the site using the "My UKWIR" button at the top of the screen to access downloadable reports. Water Company members may also access other online tools, such as the Toxicity Datasheets, National Mains Failure database, SAGIS, Wagrico, etc. all provided through our website.  You may need to request access from your company's representative, who can also be found under the relevant website tool.

Reports that match your search terms are listed out in order that reflects the number of times the words are used in the report and their whereabouts (Title / Abstract / Body). Your search term will be highlighted in the results. If you cannot see your search term highlighted in a result then the term has been found in the body of the report.  If you enclose your search term in double-quote marks, this will focus the search on the exact phrase.




How should customers’ and stakeholders’ views be used in regulatory decisions?

Frontier Economics was commissioned by UKWIR to develop a range of pragmatic options for customer and stakeholder involvement in price controls, and an assessment framework to assess each of these options and how these can be implemented in the context of water regulation.

The overall aim of the project was not to settle on a single recommended option for customer and stakeholder engagement, but to identify a range of engagement options at a high level that can potentially be applied in UKWIR jurisdictions.

This report details the options for customer and stakeholder engagement that were developed, and presents the high-level risks, opportunities and trade-offs in the implementation of each.




Workbook for estimating operational GHG emissions - version 15

UKWIR has developed a standardised workbook for estimating operational greenhouse gas emissions, the Carbon Accounting Workbook (CAW), to bring consistency and accuracy to the reporting process across the water industry. The workbook has been in place for over ten years and is updated annually to reflect the needs of the industry, including changes in carbon accounting practices.

This report sets out the changes that have been made in CAW 15. Some of these changes were implemented as a result of a review that was undertaken to assess the alignment of the CAW with the ISO14064 standards.




Antimicrobial Resistance - Literature Review

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a key global health challenge, with a predicted death toll of 10 million annually by 2050. The objective of this report was to clarify existing knowledge related to antimicrobial resistance in wastewater, sewage sludge, drinking water and the environment, and to prioritise actions and further research. A systematic literature search was carried out. AMR in water, wastewater and biosolids presents a potential public health risk, although direct evidence for the quantification of this risk is limited, and studies attempting to quantify this risk should be prioritised. Overall, wastewater treatment results in a substantial reduction of the absolute abundance of resistant bacteria and resistance genes and  studies suggest an increase in relative abundance during treatment for certain resistant bacteria and genes, although there are no clear patterns about which treatment method is most effective at reduction.





The requirement for improving managing the virological safety of drinking water has prompted renewed interest in the potential application of coliphages for assessing the risks posed by human enteric viruses. Coliphages are a diverse group of viruses that share the ability to infect the faecal indicator bacterium, E. coli and other closely related genera, and are shed in high numbers in faeces. This review was undertaken to examine their ability to indicate the virological quality of source waters and their potential to determine the virus elimination capacity of water treatment works.  Information is presented on various conventional and emerging methods for enumeration of coliphages. The report concludes by considering their suitability within the operational framework for monitoring drinking water quality.   




Integrating UKCP18 with UKWIR tools and guidance: Review of existing methods

This project has systematically reviewed UKWIR methods and tools in the context of climate change following the Met Office’s recent release of the latest UK climate change projections (UKCP18). This review has particularly focussed on water resources and drainage and has taken into account current usage, industry needs into the future and the potential impact of adopting the new UKCP18 projections. As part of this, comparisons between the range of UKCP18 products with those available under UKCP09 are presented and, given the broad similarities between the projected impacts, recommended that urgent action in relation to submitted plans was not required. The study’s prioritised recommendations for updates to methods and tools has also considered other ongoing complimentary research and industry studies and has identified key research gaps for the future, recognising that the water industry methods are undergoing significant evolution at this time.




Improved Understanding of current and future household consumption

The UKWIR project ‘Improving Understanding of Household Consumption’ collated and analysed water metering data to explore patterns in demand for water. The project used innovative data analysis methods to separate measurements of individual household use into ten weekday and ten weekend profiles. These were then interpreted with reference to environmental and socio-economic factors and their influence on customer behaviour. Changes to patterns of water demand through time were also explored. The project report included:

  • Detail of the processes applied for data collection and management, the methodology used to partition households into ‘clusters’ and the results of the data interpretation.
  • Guidance for water companies and other organisations on the implementation of the methods presented, including supporting information on which methods to use and practical guidance.
  • Recommendations for the development of a longitudinal study of household data, to ensure that data collected in future are suitable for data analysis.




Assessing the effectiveness of the regulatory framework

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.




Environmental Assessments for Water Resources Planning

There have been some significant developments in relation to environmental assessment of WRMPs and drought plans since UKWIR published guidance for practitioners in 2012. Ricardo have undertaken a review and update of the 2012 Guidance, including updated guidance on SEA and HRA as well as new guidance covering WFD compliance assessments and ecosystem services and natural capital accounting. The guidance relates to regional water resource plans as well as individual water company plans.

The updated guidance facilitates a smooth and efficient process of proportionate environmental assessment that supports decision making and consistency with relevant legislation.




Surface water drainage from new developments

The study assessed current practice of drainage design of the use of SuDS and the SuDS standards for developments draining to sewers. The water industry is concerned that best practice is not being applied and that more appropriate criteria might be needed to maximise the benefits of SuDS on sites which are typically small redevelopments.

 The project report provides:

- the historical context of the criteria required in the SuDS standards;

- a review of the experience and opinions of local planners across the UK;

- evaluated a number of SuDS for their use of SuDS;

- culminating in suggestions for revisions to some of the criteria in the SuDS standards.

A second stage then investigated the widespread use of SuDS on a verified model for a typical town, both current and proposed criteria, which showed the considerable benefits that SuDS might offer in meeting the objectives of BQ6.





The National Chemical Investigations Programme 2015-2020 - Volume 1 Part 2

The Chemical Investigations Programme (CIP) was established by UKWIR in response to emerging legislation on surface water quality. The first phase provided an overview of the occurrence, behaviour and management of trace contaminants in wastewater. This second phase aims to identify sites at which action might need to be taken and to act as a basis for proposed solutions that are effective, proportional to the Water Industry contribution to contamination, and demonstrably justifiable down to a detailed local level. The outputs are published in four volumes (available separately) as follows:

  • Volume 1 Part 2 (2015-2020) Monitoring of Sewage Effluents, Surface Waters and Sewage Sludge - Review of Programme Results and Conclusions. This volume replaces the interim (Part 1) monitoring report which was published in 2018 (Report Ref. No. 18/EQ/01/12). A copy of the Part 1 report will be provided with the Part 2 report.
  • Volume 2 Monitoring of Substances of Emerging Concern, Report Ref. No. 18/EQ/01/13
  • Volume 3 Wastewater Treatment Technology Trials, Report Ref. No. 18/EQ/01/14  
  • Volume 4 Catchment Investigations, Report Ref. No. 18/EQ/01/15

These publications document CIP findings and will form the basis of future policy on the control of chemicals in the water environment

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