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 discussed water poverty as an issue connected with water labelling, water metering, water efficiency and the hydro-social contract in general. They explored how reducing water poverty is contingent on integrated perspectives, programmes, and policies across the water sector and beyond. The session aimed 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. 

Iain 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: Covid19 and Water Efficiency

Chad Staddon (University of the West of England, Bristol) and Patric Bulmer (Bristol Water)

The Covid19 global pandemic has highlighted the critical importance of clean, safe and secure water services for everyone, everywhere, around the world.  From a global perspective, research led by Staddon and colleagues has shown that around 25% of the global population lacks safe water services to support Covid19 mitigations such as hand hygiene.  This reality, much discussed at last week’s Stockholm World Water Week (at home on-line version!), has given renewed impetus to efforts to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 6.  In the UK, where we have long enjoyed universal water services, Covid19 has had other, differently profound impacts that are only just coming to light. 

In this “Keynote Conversation” Chad and Patric focus particularly on four issues relevant to understanding how the water efficiency world has been changed by Covid19: short-term and long-term rebalancing of demand away from non-domestic and towards domestic consumers, the possible establishment of new consumption baselines (does the long-held domestic PCC of 140-160 lppd still hold?),with the implication that intraregional supply arrangements may need to be revised, and the “staycation” effect that has been particularly marked in the southwest.  

We will talk about how all of this is changing the way we need to think about water efficiency.

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. 
    Patric Bulmer 
Bristol Water 

Patric is a leading business environmentalist who rapidly builds strong stakeholder partnerships, delivering programmes of environmental investment that range from education and training through renewable energy projects to major engineering schemes. With 25 years' experience in the UK water industry, he has developed a deep experience of the water industry in the UK and worldwide - and a comprehensive understanding of the role it plays in the developing circular economy. A powerful communicator, he leads masterclasses in business presenting and enjoy helping people reach their own potential – including mentoring the rising stars in the water and environmental sectors.