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5 Trends That Will Help Shape the Future of the Water Industry

19 October 2022

Amidst the backdrop that the water industry is facing with the threat of severe climate change, ageing and inadequate water infrastructure systems, historic sector under-investment, and the rising demand for water supply across the UK – we are looking ahead to what the future entails for the future of the water utilities industry.

In this article we explore some of the key ideas and trends that we think are likely to shape the future of the water industry in the next 25 years as the sector looks to embrace and adopt transformational change through innovation as outlined in the water sector’s vision for 2050.


1. Resilient water infrastructure solutions informed by data and backed by science

Droughts across the UK present challenges for the future of the water industry
Severe climate change; just one of many issues facing the UK water industry

Challenge: What can the water industry as a sector do to combat the effects of climate change?

Solution:  We will see a rise in new approaches to water modelling systems and infrastructure backed up by data and science that help to predict patterns and inform new system designs built with resilience to help combat extreme drought and flooding scenarios. 

By working in partnership with companies to understand weather patterning and predications – new infrastructure can be designed to solve the challenges being faced at a micro geographical level. Powerful AI tools and innovative technologies will be leveraged help forecast and predict future outcomes and inform system level infrastructure solutions.


2. The rise in green water innovations with more sustainable water extraction and supply systems

future of utilities water - waste water reuse improved water treatment
Promoting water efficiency through wastewater reuse

Challenge: How can the water industry forward the green agenda and adopt new sustainable innovations?

Solution: Fuelled by Ofwat’s 5-year green recovery plan – new investment is now in place to explore newer and more innovative ways to promote greater water efficiency and water conservation. Funds have been secured to specifically finance green investment projects to adopt innovative green technologies and sustainable methods to address and tackle environmental considerations. We will see fresh approaches to resource management, ecosystems, responsible water consumption, and wastewater reuse as a key part of the water industry’s role in helping shape the circular economy. A core focus will be placed on delivering greater value for the environment to drive forward sustainability across the water sector and achieve Net Zero goals.


3. Embracing smart technology and digitally led innovations

Water industry trends suggest requirement for data sharing
Using technology to share data across the water industry

Challenge: How can technology and innovation shape the future of the industry?

Solution:  We will see new technologies being adopted that allow for data to be shared easily. There will be increased commitment to data visibility, data transparency and data accessibility. Digitally led systems and tools for data analysis will be shared across working groups, water companies, regulators, and key stakeholders to fully embrace the innovative approaches needed to deliver transformational change and outcomes. This will involve new digital ecosystems that authorise permitted data usage with compliance and governance.


4. Increased demand for Self-Lay and NAV service provision

Aquamain vans on a building site
Self-lay providers Aquamain on site

Challenge: How can the industry further decentralise water board monopolisation and offer more competitive water service alternatives?

Solution: We will see a rise in number of service providers and contractors offering Self-Lay and NAV water provision. The sector will further develop, innovate, and mature its offering to provide quicker, more efficient, more affordable, and more innovative solutions to the traditional services provided by the water incumbents. We’ll see new developer services groups emerging working together to deliver the best outcome for the customer in the quickest, greenest, smartest, and most economical way possible.


5. Collaborative partnership working to meet customer centric goals

Image from Aquamain - Water industry must co-collaborate for future of utilities water
The water industry must co-collaborate to meet the demands of people and the planet

Challenge: How can the industry co-collaborate to drive transformational change and improve the customer experience?

Solution: At the heart of the vision for 2050 is a spirit of collaboration and unified thinking and doing. This is supported by the recently created ‘Centre of Excellence’ where resources, data, skills, and knowledge will be shared to drive forward transformation across the water sector. Central to this initiative is the focus on the key environmental, social, and economic concerns of the customer. We will see a convergence of data sources and shared insights with the unified goal of meeting customer centric goals and outcomes. We will see cross functional partnerships and diverse multi-skilled teams coming together to collaborate and spearhead radical change management programmes to deliver the transformation needed to meet the demands of people and planet.


Contact Us

Aquamain are the UK’s largest provider of self-lay water utility services, including mains and plot connections to the UK’s leading housing developers and regional water companies.

Whether you need advice, a quotation, help or you just want to talk with someone about the provision of water assets for your development, the Aquamain team are here to help you – contact us today.

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