Sustainable Solutions: Raising the Watermark

“This is an incredibly useful report – what this report does is look at water from a whole range of different perspectives.”

Lord Smith, Chairman of the Environment Agency

“A really important collection of essays – they look at issues as diverse as adapting to climate change, preventing flood risk – and crucially, how we keep the water supplies running for the future.“

Mary Creagh MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

“It’s a report like this, Sustainable Solutions, that’s going to inform policy makers and the decision they make about water.”

Gavin Shuker MP, Shadow Minister for Water


In December 2011, Defra published the 'Water for Life' White Paper which described a vision for a more resilient, sustainable, resourceful and customer focused water industry. The Government then produced its draft Water Bill in July 2012, which took forward some of the concepts from the White Paper. However, since then a number of stakeholders, including the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee, have stated that proposals in the draft Water Bill lack ambition, particularly those relating to metering and abstraction reform. Furthermore, the Committee noted that the plans are unlikely to provide the necessary changes within an acceptable timescale. Little opinion has changed since the publication of the Water Bill in June 2013.

The Report

Drawing together ten experts from across the water arena, this Westminster Sustainable Business Forum publication provides a platform for those involved to share their views and commentary on specific areas within the water sector. The collection of essays comprises a range of informed ideas about how to improve the water supply chain, expand debate beyond the scope of the draft Water Bill and create more sustainable policy within the water sector. This publication was kindly sponsored by Arup and the RSPB.


This publication includes contributions from the following authors:

Lord Smith, Chairman, Environment Agency

Report Foreword


Anne McIntosh MP, Chairman, Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee

Report Introduction


Professor Alan Jenkins, Deputy Director, Centre for Ecology & Hydrology

On the topic of 'Systems Thinking: The river catchment approach'


Janez Potočnik, European Commissioner for the Environment

On the topic of 'Beyond Our Borders: The EU Water Framework Directive'


Mark Fletcher, Director and Global Water Leader, Arup

On the topic of 'Unlocking Vitality: Values and footprints'


Dr Mike Clarke, Chief Executive, RSPB

On the topic of 'Mindful Management: Sustainable abstraction'


Peter Jones OBE, Director, Policy Connect

On the topic of 'Combining Initiatives: Cohesive policies for water, waste and energy'


Lord John Krebs Kt FRS, Chair, Adaptation Sub-Committee, UK Committee on Climate Change

On the topic of 'Flood Adaptation: A changing climate'


Dr Jerry Bryan, Executive Chairman, Albion Water

On the topic of 'Streams of Improvement: Innovation and technology'


David Nussbaum, Chief Executive, WWF-UK

On the topic of 'Water Efficiency: Changing consumer behaviour'


Tony Smith, Chief Executive, Consumer Council for Water

On the topic of 'The Bottom Line: Leakage and supply chain resilience'


Justin Taberham, Director of Policy, Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management

On the topic of 'Improving Understanding: The case for water metering'


If you have any questions regarding this publication, or any WSBF research, please sustainability [at] (subject: Sustainable%20Solutions%20enquiry) (don't hesitate to get in touch).

  • Image
  • Image
  • Image
  • Image
  • Image
  • Image
  • Image