Water resilience has hit the headlines in recent months, with water companies facing increased pressure from regulatory bodies. Now, Neil Davies, Director of Watertrain, shares insight into the challenges ahead.
Globally, the impact of climate change, combined with environmental challenges including a growing population and health threats such as the recent COVID-19 outbreak, is placing unprecedented pressure on the water industry to ensure smooth, sustainable operations.
Despite widespread media coverage, many of us remain unaware of the true, ever-evolving impact of climate change – particularly when it comes to water.
It is reported that by 2050, more than half of UK summers are expected to be hotter than temperatures seen during the 2003 heatwave, and at the same time our population is set to exceed 75 million. The Committee on Climate Change also predict England’s water supply demand to be between 1.1 and 3.1 billion litres a day by the 2050s.
As these challenges turn from future speculation to reality, it is more important now than ever before for water companies to implement robust resilience plans.
One area at the core of resilience is the knowledge and skillset of employees in both management and technical roles.
Since the development of the Level 4 Diploma in Water Industry Operations and Management – approved by Ofqual and accredited by CABWI Awarding Body – Watertrain has seen first-hand the benefits of durable, industry specific training for both new and experienced water managers. Water managers play an important role in leading resilience throughout their organisation, and a new, in-depth understanding of responsibilities including financial resources, water quality and water industry structure, can help to support resilience planning.
For technical staff, countering existing skill gaps is crucial for resilience and to minimise the current 20% of total water supply widely estimated to be lost every day in England through leakage from pipes.
While we are seeing increased utilisation of new technology to support leakage reduction, reliance on these technologies alone can be both risky and, in event of failure, costly.
Durable training is essential for water companies to ensure parity of skills throughout their workforce and at Watertrain, we are continuing to see an increased intake of learners on our apprenticeship and Level 3 programmes.
Watertrain is the predominant provider of high-quality technical training and qualification programmes to the water sector. For more information on their available programmes, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 03330 431 431.