There was some surprise and disappointment in the water sector in January, as it was revealed by Ofwat that none of the PR19 business plans submitted by the 17 water companies it regulates had been placed in its ‘excellent’ category.
Just three were placed in the ‘fast-track’ category, giving them the green light to get started on delivering their proposed plans for customers. The remaining companies now have until April to “substantially rework” and resubmit their plans.
Colin Yates, chief support officer at WorkMobile, commented:
“It’s notable that in its assessments of the four companies placed in the ‘significant scrutiny’ category, Ofwat drew particular attention to concerns regarding their long-term resilience.
“One of the regulator’s main aims for the next five years is a 15% reduction in leakage, the equivalent of more than 170 billion litres of water per year.
“The assessments make it clear that Ofwat is keen for water companies to be looking for innovative ways to monitor their asset health and improve their infrastructure.
“Implementing cloud-based technologies, such as digital data capture apps, is just one of the new ways that water providers can manage their network more efficiently.
“Digital data capture solutions allow field workers to record all information via a mobile device, instead of relying on paper-based forms and handheld cameras.
“This information is then automatically saved to a cloud-based project management system, eliminating the need for workers to return to head office to load their job data into the company portal.
“With all data captured in real time, and the risk of it being lost or incorrectly recorded reduced, water companies are able to manage essential project information more effectively. Weaknesses in the infrastructure can be identified and resolved much more quickly, helping to prevent leakages from occurring.
“With all but three of the registered water companies in the UK needing to resubmit their business plans in April, they should be exploring how technology can help them to align their plans with Ofwat’s vision for a more sustainable future.”
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"Implementing cloud-based technologies, such as digital data capture apps, is just one of the new ways that water providers can manage their network more efficiently."
Colin Yates, chief support officer at WorkMobile
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