Chris Matthews, United Utilities Buildings and Infrastructure

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Transcript Chris Matthews, United Utilities Buildings and Infrastructure

Adapting the city
Water Infrastructure & Climate Change
Chris Matthews
Presentation Overview
• About United Utilities
• What climate change means for water and wastewater service
provision and why this is a business imperative
• Our response – water supply
• Our response – wastewater service
• Engaging with stakeholders – how we all need to work together
About United Utilities
• Operations in the north west of England
• 7 million customers
• 57,000 hectares of catchment land
• Over 40,000 km of distribution mains,
supplying 1950Ml/day water
• Over 72,000km of sewers, 582
Wastewater Treatment Works
Adaptation and water supply
• 2035 estimate is a reduction in available supply of some 10% or
around 180 million litres of water every day
• A combination of less yield and greater customer demand
• Intense rainfall may increase raw water colour increasing
treatment costs
• Flooding on water treatment facilities, interruption to service
Adaptation and wastewater service provision
• Increased incidences of flooding of homes
• Flooding on wastewater treatment facilities, interruption to service
• Water courses could have a lower dissolved oxygen content leading to tighter discharge consent
standards to maintain water quality standards
• Potential for odour generation in warmer conditions and risk of causing nuisance to customers
• Impact on sludge as prolonged wet periods may restrict sludge to land recycling route
• Warmer weather may have a positive effect on biological treatment processes, which operate more
effectively at higher temperatures
Our response – the process
• Adaptation integrated into our Strategic Direction
Statement, company policies and strategies to
develop optimised long-term asset management
plans for the next 25 years. The plans provide the
foundation for assessing the specific actions
required to adapt to climate change risks over the
planning horizon and beyond.
• Climate change data (UKCIP) and assessment of
risk is used in the development of company
strategies, whilst climate change is accounted for in
design, construction and operational activities.
Our response – water supply
• Water Resources Management Plan
• Reduce demand for water (leakage control
and customer efficiency)
• Increase supply of water (small scale new
groundwater resource development and
greater network integration)
• 55 km West-East pipeline to link Lake
District and Welsh sources and enable water
to be moved to those areas most affected by
climate change especially during drought period
• £1.6m investment to manage flood risk at key assets and catchment
land investment
• All in a way that is good value for customers and is sustainable
Our response – wastewater service
Increased volumes of storm water exceed sewer capacity
and cause customer flooding.
• Upsizing priority sections of sewer together with
protecting customers’ property
• Improving models of the sewer network
• Engaging with local authorities and the EA on development
of Surface Water Management Plans
• On-going planning to protect wastewater treatment works
at risk from flooding
• Increasing emphasis on demand management approaches
• Sustainable drainage systems (SUDS) analysis
Building our way out of the problem on its own will not work and we already have a policy
NOT to routinely upsize the sewer network
Working with our customers to determine the level of service/protection that they want/can pay for
Engaging with stakeholders
• Engagement to understand stakeholder priorities and preferences
• Taken into account within our strategic asset planning process.
• Flooding from the sewerage system a symptom of more widespread
problems in an entire drainage system which will often require actions
from other stakeholders as well as United Utilities.
• Support the adoption of a joined-up approach to drainage
management based on the principles of integrated drainage as
outlined in Making Space for Water (Defra, 2005), Future Water
(Defra, 2008), the Pitt Review (Sir Michael Pitt, 2008) and Flood and
Water Management Act (2010).
Key messages
• Sustainable adaptation to climate change will involve partnership
working and behavioural change. We expect the proportion of this
type of work to increase as conventional solutions become
• Climate change risks to our Water Service are well catered for in our
existing business plans and statutory documents. We already plan for
climate variability in our 25 year business planning horizon.
• There are some long-term risks to our Wastewater Service from
climate change. Current methods to manage these risks are
unsustainable and innovation is needed to manage the issues in the
long term.
Adapting the city