Friday, 4 July 2008

Water UK

Water UK welcomes Pitt Review


Water UK welcomes the direction and key recommendations of Sir Michael Pitt’s review of last summer’s floods, published today.

Among the key issues for the water industry highlighted by the Review are:

Clarification of roles and responsibilities for managing flooding, mirroring the Government’s announcement earlier this month to give a strategic role to the Environment Agency and specific responsibilities to local authorities;

The need for an improved understanding and management of flood risk, particularly for critical infrastructure. This includes incorporating the likely impacts of climate change, an area where the industry has already undertaken a great deal of work;

Improved building and planning development and control and removal of the automatic right of connection of surface water to the public sewer, which the industry has long campaigned for;

Involving utility service providers in emergency response procedures; and

Improved sharing of appropriate information, moving from a 'need to know' to a 'need to share' approach.

Water UK’s own independently chaired review of the floods will publish its second report on 29 July. It will complement the Pitt Review and the recommendations will be focused on action the water industry needs to take, on its own or in collaboration with others. See the terms of reference for the review.

The first Water UK report was published in February 2008 and concentrates on the emergency response to the floods. This was intended as a 'wake up call' for the industry and describes a series of recommendations that water companies need to action to provide a better response the next time such events happen.

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