Concern and curiosity from the public about the water environment, resources and infrastructure signals the need to change the way R&D initiatives are communicated.
On 30 Nov 2023, water company executives will join leaders from regulators, media, NGOs and the supply chain, to discuss the theme of ‘positively influencing the water sector through research and innovation’ at the collaborative research organisation for the UK and Ireland water sector — UKWIR annual conference in London, UK.
Keynote speakers are Helen Wakeham, director of water transformation at the Environment Agency and Colin Skellett, CEO of Wessex Water.
In a statement, Skellett spoke about the need for increased investment in the sector, and ways that this can be achieved. He advocated for more nature-based solutions, cross-sector working and attracting young people with diverse skills into the water sector as possible solutions.
Colin Skellett said, “The industry is subject to more public scrutiny, and we need higher levels of investment, but that is taking place when there is a cost-of-living crisis. So, to meet the challenges of the 21st century we must have more innovation. We must think and act smarter.”
Helen Wakeham said, “The size and scale of the challenge for the water environment is immense, and investment is needed. If we are to rise to it, then regulators, the water industry, the supply chain and others need to work together to innovate.”
The event will also see Nicci Russell, CEO of Waterwise chairing a panel discussion on customer engagement, while Ian Barker, vice-president of the Institute of Water is taking part in a panel discussing how to change the narrative on water.
This year’s session themes will be explored through a combination of presentations and panel discussions of creating a better world for customers, opportunities for strategic partnerships, tackling challenges and digital transformation.