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Keynote speakers

Keynote conversation 1: Water Poverty and the Social Contract

Chair: Kathryn Rathouse

In this keynote session Jess Cook from NEA and Iain McGuffog from Bristol Water will discuss water poverty as an issue connected with water labelling, water metering, water efficiency and the hydro-social contract in general. They will explore how reducing water poverty is contingent on integrated perspectives, programmes, and policies across the water sector and beyond. The session aims to bring a range of perspectives from inside and outside the water sector, including consumer organisations, organisations working with customers with affordability issues, and the energy sector.

Jess Cook
National Energy Action

Jess Cook is Project Development Manager at National Energy Action and responsible for leading the 'People Living in Water Poverty and Fuel Poverty' work programme. This programme is funded by Northumbrian Water and aims to establish a formal definition of water poverty, understand the links between water poverty and fuel poverty and align policy and practical action to make a difference for customers struggling to pay, or at risk of struggling to pay, their energy and water bills. The final goal is eradicating water poverty in the UK by 2030.

Ian McGuffog
Bristol Water

Director of Strategy & Regulation Iain McGuffog took up the post of Director of Strategy and Regulation at Bristol Water and joined its Executive team in October 2017. Iain heads up the strategy and regulatory directorate and shapes the long-term strategy for Bristol Water as well as the PR19 business plan. With more than 15 years’ sector experience, Iain joined Bristol Water from Ofwat, where he was Director, Strategy and Planning. Before this, Iain was Chief Economist at South West Water. Prior to the water sector, Iain built up experience as both a Management Accountant and Economist in the chemical, consumer electronics and rail sectors. He brings with him a wealth of experience and expertise in economic regulation, economic analysis, business planning and market strategy. 
Iain has an extensive track record of focusing on long term outcomes, including through three water price reviews, that balanced customer, investor, and stakeholder needs.

Keynote conversation 2: New trends in high frequency water demand monitorization and analysis: experiences and challenges 

In a presentation of two halves, Chad will take us on a global journey considering the impact of COVID-19 on hand washing & Sustainable Development Goal 6 and water use distribution & patterns of consumption: and implications of research into COVID persistence in wastewater.

Professor Chad Staddon
University of the West of England

Prof Chad Staddon is Professor of Resource Economics and Policy at UWE, Bristol and founder-director of the International Water Security Network. In the course of his 20 year career he has studied water services in Canada, the US, the UK and many European countries. He has published more than 40 scientific papers and books, given more than 100 public lectures and is frequently called upon to comment on relevant government policy. His current research interests lie in the area of better understanding the nature and drivers of urban water demand and the potential for social and economic instruments to drive conservation efforts.