Inmarsat, London | 17 September 2019

Tuesday 17th September 2019

​Inmarsat, London


Main Session


Registration and refreshments


Chair’s welcome

Mark Hansford, editor, New Civil Engineer 


Governmental keynote

DEFRA will be outlining the nation’s vision on the water sector and what needs to be achieved in the short and long term.

​Margaret Read, deputy director for water, DEFRA


Fireside chat: Defining the future of the water industry: 2025 and beyond

Examine the vision for the water industry beyond 2015 and understand what is required in the long term for drainage and waste-water management plans. 


Alison Fergusson, associate director, Ofwat

Dame Kate Barker, commissioner, National Infrastructure Commission 


C-level Panel: Water networks of the future: What will the £50 billion investment plan entail and what will the network of the future deliver? 

Outline the high value investment projects and maintenance plans for the AMP7 period. How are the ambitious leakage reductions targets to be met and efficiencies introduced to provide a 4% reduction in customer bills? What is needed from the engineering sector and the full supply chain to achieve the network of the future? How will you ensure greater transparency and customer trust through government changes?


Mel Karam, CEO, Bristol Water

Richard Flint, CEO, Yorkshire Water

David Elliot, group chief innovation officer, Wessex Water

Peter Simpson, CEO, Anglian Water

​Bob Taylor, CEO, Portsmouth Water


Networking Refreshment Break


Panel discussion: Ensuring a robust procurement and contract management process for the AMP7 period and beyond

Examine the intricacies of the ‘direct procurement for customers’ (DPC) route as an alternative delivery method for major projects and identify areas of efficiency when water companies are already operating and delivering assets as efficiently as possible. What impact will DPC have on competition, the supply chain, and the bidding process?


John McGovern, head of asset management, Northumbrian Water

James Crompton, strategic projects director (One Alliance), Anglian Water

Laura Mann, head of open systems, Wessex Water


Panel discussion: Placing the customer at the heart: Being the trusted utility and encouraging customer behaviour to impact consumption rates

Understand what initiatives are being deployed to engage with the local community and environment. How are you helping the most vulnerable? How are you educating customers to reduce daily water consumption from the current average of 140 litres per day? 


​Ben Earl, water efficiency manager, Southern Water

Bob Taylor, CEO, Portsmouth Water


Networking Lunch

Afternoon Innovation - Assessing how technology can enable innovation in the water industry and secure the future resilience of the networks 


How will Blockchain and AI revolutionise the water industry?

Hear from a futurist about the disruption technology will have on the industry and what to expect in the coming decade 

Matthew Griffin, Fanatical Futurist


Water technology innovation competition

The water industry is facing a host of challenges which can be resolved with innovative technology solutions. We at New Civil Engineer have spoken with key stakeholders in the water sector and have identified the following areas where innovation can help with achieving much needed efficiencies. Innovators submitted creative technology solutions which can help with one or more of the areas below:

  • Real time asset management and smart networks:
  • Leakage
  • Increasing energy efficiency

Judging panel:

Professor Dragan Savic, KWR Watercycle Research Institute (the Netherlands) and the University of Exeter

Laura Mann, head of open systems, Wessex Water

Nathan Baker, director, engineering knowledge, Institute of Civil Engineers

Graydon Jeal, director, infrastructure advisory and economics, Atkins Acuity

Hear lightening pitches from the shortlisted entries:


Refreshments and networking break


Water network management; the Dutch way

Understand the approaches developed and applied by the Dutch water utilities to keep leakage and cost at a very low level (6% on average and £1.1 per 1000 litres, respectively) and contrast with the UK’s current situation. Gain insight into novel leakage identification, quantification and interpretation, as well as the design and rehabilitation ‘blueprint’ approach developed to achieve high-level of service at minimum cost.

​Professor Dragan Savic, KWR Watercycle Research Institute (the Netherlands) and the University of Exeter


Matt Crabtree, engineering director, South West Water


Innovation in Northumbrian Water and capital projects

  • Northumbrian Water’s corporate approach to innovation
  • Working with our contract partners to promote innovation 
  • Highlights of some examples / case studies

​​John McGovern, head of asset management, Northumbrian Water 


Real World Smart Network

  • ​Actual implementation and execution lessons learned from integrating relevant internal and external data sources into one platform by also combining new sensors and AMI meters.
  • Using a multi communication channel approach to network sensor deployment. 
  • Innovating around a central data environment to accelerate other data benefit realisation initiatives. 
  • Early results, lessons learned and next steps for South East Water.

Simon Earl, South East Water 


Water Technology Innovation Competition

Winner announced


Closing remarks


Close of conference 

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