The Institute of Water’s Northern Area has appointed a new President, Monisha Gower, Assets Director at Northumbrian Water. Outgoing Northern Area President Noela Fitton, Head of Strategic Bids at United Living handed over the role at Northumbrian Water’s offices on Wednesday, 27th September 2023.
Monisha, who has in-depth experience in delivering end-to-end, high-value projects/programmes and providing consistent and dynamic management, will begin the role immediately.
The Institute of Water is the only professional body dedicated entirely to supporting the careers of people in the UK water sector, and its purpose is to enable members to reach their full potential to drive the sector forward. The Northern Area is one of eight geographical areas covering the UK and the committee runs a varied programme of in-person events, webinars and development opportunities across the calendar year.
Upon being appointed, Monisha said: “It’s a real honour to take on the role of President for the Northern Area of the Institute of Water and I look forward to working with and supporting members during my time in post.
The Institute offers such great opportunities for its members to learn, develop and widen their network, whether they are already working within the water industry or are aspiring to do so in the future. Through such support and development, it can help our sector here in the North to become the go-to place to build a career.”
The Institute of Water thanks Noela for her brilliant commitment to heading the Northern Area for the past year, and welcomes Monisha to the IWater family.
If you would like more information about the Institute of Water, including becoming a member and how to get involved, then please email firstname.lastname@example.org
From left to right: Noella Fitton, Head of Strategic Bids, United Living and Monisha Gower, Assets Director, Northumbrian Water.
Last Thursday evening (29th June 2023), the Welsh Area hosted the 17th Annual Innovation Awards at Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff. It was a great opportunity to celebrate innovation within the water sector and network with industry colleagues. There was a wide array of quality submissions and Kit Wilson, Welsh Area President and Steve Youell, former National Chair were on hand to present the awards.
A huge thank you to all of the applicants, judges and Welsh Area sponsor Pump Supplies, for their efforts in making the event possible.
And the 2023 winners are…
Clever Data Category:
- Winner: EDM anomaly detection (EDMAD) model by Daniel Okereke & Willow Smallbone (Dŵr Cymru Data Team), Claire Thrift, Jacek Pijanka & Ifan Jones (Dŵr Cymru Wastewater Assets Team).
- Highly Commended: Automation of Finance Reporting by Matthew Davies, Dŵr Cymru
Clever Data Winner: EDM Anomaly Detection (EDMAD) Model
Market Adaptation Category:
- Winner: Optical, Chalk Dosing Trial By Alexandra Wilson, Gareth Jones, Scott Butler, Craig Davey of Dŵr Cymru, Arthur Doucin of Omya & Louise Durham of SNF.
- Highly Commended: Be PestSmart: choosing pesticides wisely By Dŵr Cymru, Water Services Science Catchment Team.
Market Adaptation Winner: Optical, Chalk Dosing Trial
Collaborative Working Category:
- Winner: Hereford Collaborative Wetlands: Advancing Industry Knowledge, Confidence and Working Practices of Co Delivered and Co-Funded Water Quality Improvements by Vyvyan Evans & Elliot Burge of Dŵr Cymru, Herefordshire Council Planning Department, Herefordshire Council Built and Natural Environment team, Wye and Usk Foundation Design and Delivery team and Environment Agency Innovative Permitting Team
- Highly Commended: Anaerobic Digester Foaming Research and Taskforce by Faye Ward, Ian Parry, Jonathan Dean, Chris Jones, Dave Holthofer (Dŵr Cymru) and Russell Mulliner (AD Ingenuity), Joe Merry (Stantec) and Andrew Bowen (Skanska)
Collaborative Working Winner: Hereford Collaborative Wetlands
- Winner: A river-health-led approach to combined sewer overflows By Owain Morgan from ARUP
- Highly Commended: ‘Smart’ maintenance By Technolog & Dŵr Cymru Wastewater Networks
Ideas Winner: A river-health-led approach to combined sewer overflows
Committee Award: Beacons Water Group, Dŵr Cymru Water Services Science Catchment Team!
Committee Award: Beacons Water Group
The overall Welsh Area Innovation Award Winner, who will represent the Welsh Area at the National Presidents Dinner is The Hereford Collaborative Wetlands project team for their collaborative wetlands projects which is advancing industry knowledge, confidence and working practices of co-delivered and co-funded water quality improvements.
Congratulations to everyone and thank you from the Committee!
Welsh Area Innovation Awards Committee with Kit Wilson, Welsh Area President
Action to protect the environment and fix leaks must be a priority for water companies to build trust with their customers, according to a new study from the Consumer Council for Water (CCW).
New research published today (Friday) by CCW shows that general levels of trust in water companies is high when it comes to providing reliable and sustainable services and keeping customers informed.
However, fewer than half of people (43%) trust water companies to protect and enhance the environment.
CCW wanted to gain a better understanding of people’s perceptions of water companies, and the wider industry, to ensure that they are addressing the priorities that matter to the communities they serve.
When asked to describe what water companies could do to build trust with water consumers, reducing pollution and fixing leaks were named as top measures.
Emma Clancy, CCW Chief Executive, said: “Understanding what action needs to be taken to build trust in water companies is imperative if we’re to create a sector that works for people and the environment – which is one of our key ambitions.”
“The two issues most commonly mentioned by people were leaks and polluting of rivers and seas, and these risk further eroding trust in the sector. Companies not only need to address these areas but they should also be clear and consistent in how they communicate their actions to people, with far greater transparency over their performance.”
When asked to describe their water company in their own words, people’s descriptions were more positive than negative – 46% and 34%, respectively. However, nearly half of those surveyed used negative terms to describe the water industry, as a whole.
Younger people, the less wealthy and consumers living in the North East, Wales and the West Midlands tended to have a more positive perception of their water company and the industry as a whole.
Those of an older demographic, the wealthier and people living in the South East tended to have a more negative perception.
Two-thirds (62%) of water consumers said their perception of their water company had not changed in the last year. However where it had changed, it tended to be for the worse (23%) with only 11% saying their perceptions had got better.
The report concludes that better communication is key to improving trust in the water sector. As the cost of living crisis continues to hit people in the pocket, it’s even more imperative water companies tell their customers how they are spending their money to improve services and address the concerns they have on issues like enhancing and protecting the environment.
CCW has already begun working with the sector to help water companies improve the way they communicate with the communities they serve, on a range of issues, including the value of water and protecting the environment.
In the first quarter of 2023, IWater’s environmental licensing body, Society for the Environment confirmed a greater number of new Registered Environmental Practitioner (REnvP) registrations compared to any previous three-month period – an REnvP record quarter.
The record number of environmental practitioners joining the official register during this period is on par with new Chartered Environmentalist (CEnv) registrants for the first time.
Reacting to the news, Chief Executive of the Society for the Environment, Dr Emma Wilcox CEnv, said:
“As organisations continue to make steps towards a more sustainable way of working, more professionals with proven environmental competence are needed. Our aim is to have such professionals in every discipline. Our Technician, Practitioner and Chartered professionals are all playing a huge role in creating a more sustainable world.”
Emma adds; “With the introduction of the REnvP less than two years ago, it is heart-warming to now know that this has proven to be both an entry route and a progression pathway for environmental professionals that resonates as we hoped. If you joined the REnvP register in our record-breaking quarter on your journey to CEnv, or if REnvP is the perfect fit for your career, welcome to the community and thank you for leading the way.”
Rob Plews CEng REnvP, Associate Director at The Shadbolt Group, achieved REnvP during Q1 of 2023 via membership of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3) and noted:
“Bring a Registered Environmental Practitioner compliments my CEng Chartership from IOM3 by confirming that I work in a more varied field beyond core geotechnical work. As a modern geoenvironmental company, recognising that I, and others across the business, have a strong understanding of contaminated land – and how to deal with it – is vital.”
A popular route to REnvP registration is via membership of the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA). Martin Baxter CEnv, Deputy CEO at IEMA, commented on the rising number of REnvP professionals:
“There is a growing demand for people with the skills to implement change for a cleaner, greener future. As businesses translate top-line sustainability targets into on-the-ground action, Registered Environmental Practitioner (REnvP) status will become increasingly important as a mark of practical competence in environmental management and protection.”
By becoming a REnvP, you are highlighting that you have been judged by your peers who have found you to be consistently advancing and advocating good environmental practices. To find out more about IWater’s REnvP offering, click HERE
Language is important. It’s why I use Police Officer over Policeman, Chair rather than Chairman and why I put my pronouns in my email signature. Language is also always evolving, and I hope that even when I’m 70 years old I will continue to learn and change my language to ensure people around me feel included and supported. That’s why when I received a kind WhatsApp from a friend and colleague questioning a word I used in an email my stomach dropped.
But, every day is a school day, and the experience taught me some things, which I want to share with you too…
I work in Public Affairs for Anglian Water, so when we were 6 weeks out from the local elections I circulated some guidance internally about impartiality rules during the run up to the local elections. This “pre-election” period means that there are limits on what prospective political candidates can do and therefore how we, as Anglian Water, should interact with them. As far as I knew, this pre-election period was known as “purdah”. I’ve heard this word used in water and political circles on a semi regular basis. When you google it, purdah is defined as: The pre-election period is the period in the United Kingdom between the announcement of an election and the formation of the new elected government.
However, it has another meaning which I was unaware of. It describes the religious and social practice of female seclusion and segregation prevalent among some Muslim and Hindu communities. Looking into it further I learnt that purdah takes two forms: physical segregation of the sexes and the requirement that women cover their bodies so as to cover their skin and conceal their form. The word itself is derived from the Hindi-Urdu and before that Persian word “Pardeh” meaning to cover up, wrap or hide.
It turns out that some organisations have stopped using the term to describe the pre-election period, as they feel comparing the experience of women who choose to or are forced to carry out physical and social separation is by no means the same as the very small limitations put on prospective parliamentary nominees.
I have subsequently changed the wording of the guidance to simply say “pre-election period” and have had some really interesting conversations with colleagues as a result. I have spoken to a Muslim friend, who reminded me that of course, not all Muslims will have the same view on whether or not the term should be used in the political context, or whether it could be deemed as insensitive.
What this experience has reminded me though, is about the importance of language in DEI. I am sure there are other words and phrases which have origins we would be uncomfortable with if we fully understood them.
Please share some with me if you know of any!
-Lydia Dareheath CEnv, Public Affairs Manager, Anglian Water Services Limited
The Consumer Council for Water has gone behind closed doors to explore households’ more unusual and often wasteful water habits.
Their Survey finds that almost 1 in 5 people in England and Wales run the tap to drown out the sound of them using the toilet; nearly half of the people said they had taken a shower after going to the loo for a ‘number two’, and almost a third of people run the shower longer than needed to ‘get some peace and quiet’.
CCW is using these findings to help shine a light on ways people can save water and play their part in easing pressure on water resources.
Almost 1 in 5 people have left the tap running to drown out the sound of them using the toilet, according to new research which has lifted the lid on our water habits.
Leaving the shower running to ‘get some peace and quiet’ from the rest of the household was also among the bathroom behaviours revealed in the Consumer Council for Water’s (CCW) Lifting the Lid: The Secrets of Our Water Habits.
CCW wanted to test how common a range of water habits were among households and whether people viewed them as wasteful. The results were eye-opening with almost a fifth of people in England and Wales (17%) admitting to running the bathroom tap to cover up the sound of them using the toilet. Nearly a third (29%) said they had run the shower for longer than they needed just to get some peace and quiet away from family or housemates.
Some of the most common habits included flushing the toilet twice after having a ‘number two’ (90%), using the washing machine or dishwasher when it was not full (67%), taking a bath or shower to cool down (66%), washing an item of clothing that wasn’t dirty (65%), staying in the bath so long it needed topping up with warm water (59%) and killing a plant by overwatering it (58%).
But there is cause for optimism too when it comes to encouraging people to become water savvy. More than six out of ten people (63%) felt they could be more water efficient, with 18 to 34 year olds particularly conscious of the need to save water – despite displaying some of the most wasteful habits.
Karen Gibbs, Senior Leader for the Environment at CCW, said: “A good quality, reliable water supply is an essential part of our daily lives from the moment we wake up to when our head hits the pillow at night – but what our findings reveal is that many of us are wasting water without even realising.”
“Last summer’s drought brought into sharp focus the need for everyone to value water and use it wisely, which is why it’s encouraging that the majority of people said they recognised the need to do more to reduce their water use. It’s up to the water sector to help guide households towards simple actions that can make a big difference when it comes to saving water.”
Taking a shower immediately after a bath (21%), having three or more baths/showers a day (20%) and running the shower to get creases out of clothes (15%) were some of the less common behaviours people said they had displayed at least once.
CCW hopes that by shining a light on some of these habits it can support people in making changes that will not only save water but also, in many cases, cut people’s water and energy bills too. It forms part of the watchdog’s wider People and the Environment stream of work, which aims to help people better understand how their water use impacts the world around them.
Simple changes that can save water and money include:
- Halving your daily shower time from 10 minutes to 5 minutes – saving an individual up to £200 on their annual water and energy bills, if they have a water meter.
- Cutting out two cycles of your washing machine every week by making sure it’s always fully loaded – saving someone about £40 across the year.
- Only running the tap when you need to. Turning off the tap while brushing your teeth could save more than 8,000 litres of water a year – shaving about £30 off your water bill.
CCW’s website is packed with more tips and advice that can help households save water, energy and money around the home. Visit www.ccw.org.uk for more information.
The study builds on a previous survey conducted by Bristol Water and McCann back in 2019.
Delegates attending the Institute of Water Annual Conference 2023 on September 13th will also get to hear more great water saving tips directly from CCW in a live exclusive broadcast of their Waterfall: Water Saving Podcast.
Do you want to be involved in the running of IWater’s Young Persons’ Network (YPN), helping it expand and thrive?
If so, we have just the volunteer opportunity for you as we are looking for a new Young Persons’ Network National Co-Rep!
Becoming a National YPN Co-Rep is a fantastic leadership development opportunity, helping build your management and organisational skills.
You can work on your own personal brand, as you will become a figurehead for the YPN, networking with like-minded professionals and sector leaders.
You can also grow your confidence and professional development as the role allows you to have a voice across different IWater Committees, learning how strategies are developed and organisational changes are implemented.
You will also be involved in national YPN events and speak as a representative of the network to our Board.
How to apply
We are looking for someone who is passionate about professional development. We want to further diversify IWater’s membership population, so we need someone who is willing to bring their own ideas on how we can achieve this.
We are also looking for someone willing to commit the time necessary to perform in this role, which works out to be roughly an average of 2 volunteer days per month.
To apply, you must be an IWater member, as well as a young professional working in or around the water sector.
Please send your CV and a cover letter on why you feel you would be the right fit for the role to Abbie Thornton. After you have submitted your application, we will be in touch regarding setting up an interview.
Applications close on May 2nd, 2023.
When asked why people should apply for the role, Abu Rashid, Market Improvement Lead & EDI Lead at MOSL and National IWater YPN Co-Rep said:
“I joined the Institute of Water and Young Persons’ Network to learn more about the water sector, build meaningful relationships, promote Equality, Diversity & Inclusion and have fun whilst doing all of this. Happy to say, I’ve made significant headway with all my goals – really grateful to IWater and the YPN for all my growth!”
If you have any questions about the Co-Rep position, please get in touch with Abbie Thornton.
Institute of Water’s Licensing body, the Science Council have announced that Professor Della Freeth has been appointed Chief Executive, starting on 1st August 2023.
Della is currently Executive Director of Education at the Royal College of Physicians and brings with her experience of working in a network of diverse professional membership organisations. She also brings expertise from research and senior leadership roles in four contrasting universities. Della said: “I’ve worked on several innovations addressing national workforce development needs, supported the emergence of new professional roles and promoted interprofessional collaboration. I am passionate about career-long learning and addressing barriers to career progression. I’m looking forward to working with and for the wide range of Science Council Members, registrants and stakeholders, to shape and deliver focused, increased impact.”
Adam Donnan, Chair of the Science Council, said: “Della’s strong grounding in science and academia combined with significant managerial experience makes her the ideal Science Council CEO. I look forward to working with her in the next stage of the Science Council’s growth.”
The current Chief Executive, Helen Gordon, will be leaving the organisation in late August to pursue a portfolio career in non-executive/trustee roles and leadership coaching. Speaking of the change in leadership at the Science Council, Helen said: “Della brings a wide range of valuable experience and skills to the Science Council at a time of great opportunity for the organisation, its Membership and registrants, plus the wider science community. I look forward to working with Della to ensure a smooth handover.”
Today, on World Water Day, we are excited to announce that MOSL has launched its first Sustainability Plan.
The plan sets out our 12 commitments and key areas of work for 2023/24 to enable us to ‘make a positive impact, inspire positive action, and empower positive change’.
With climate change no longer just a threat, but a reality, it is more important than ever that we all do more to consider how our actions impact the world around us.
As market operator, we have a duty of care, working alongside our members, to protect our water resources. Our Sustainability Plan shares our commitments and the actions we will take working in an industry we love, respecting our finite resources. However, we approach sustainability holistically. Our commitments sit within four building blocks– Our People, Our Business, Our Community and Our Industry. These ensure we develop a plan that covers all areas of how we operate –how we support colleagues, how we act as a responsible employer, how we work with our community and how we provide insight into the market and wider water industry.
As a small not-for-profit organisation, we know that we can’t do everything, and we can’t do it all at once. But we can do our bit. By working closely and transparently with partners we can help join the drops and make a bigger impact. We will evolve this plan as we deliver our commitments and build a longer-term vision for sustainability aligned to our next three-year strategy.
Lyvia Nabarro, Head of Market Engagement and Communications said:
“I feel incredibly proud to work for a company that is focused on its people, on doing the right thing and on making a difference not only in the market we operate, but for the wider environment and our society.
A key part of this is how we work with our members, stakeholders, and supply chain partners, as well as how we operate the non-household market. Our focus is as much on ‘how we do things’ as ‘what we do’. This includes how we support our colleagues, act as an ethical employer and support people’s development and wellbeing. To us, sustainability covers all areas of our business, not just our ‘green’ credentials.
This plan has been a labour of love for colleagues working across MOSL and is the culmination of years of work in looking at how we act, operate, and demonstrate ourselves as a responsible business. What’s more, it is supported across all levels of our organisation. As sponsor, I am delighted to champion this work, but we all take responsibility for ensuring we deliver the commitments and play our part to create a supportive and healthy working culture and reduce our impact on the environment.”
Since I joined IWater I’ve had an incredibly warm welcome into the IWater family and have learned a lot about both the Institute and the sector. It’s clear from conversations with members, volunteers, the Board and key stakeholders, that now is a good time for IWater to take stock of our purpose, our priorities and how we achieve them. Throughout 2023 we’ll be carrying out a strategic review to determine our future direction as an institute. And we want our members to help shape that future.
Growing a thriving, impactful organization
We have a wonderful organization, with a great deal to offer and we want it to thrive and create even more positive impact – for our members, our sector, our communities. And, we can’t overstate the importance of continuously developing the people in our sector, who have the privilege and responsibility for perhaps our most precious resource.
However, IWater remains, as many have put it “a well-kept secret”. We know from the estimated numbers of people working in the water sector and our level of membership that we have a lot of scope for growth – in numbers, in capacity and in impact. Without growth, over time, we would begin to question our sustainability as an organization; and that’s not a future we want. So, it’s important for any membership organisation to show people that the opportunities we offer are worth joining for, paying for and getting actively involved.
What questions are we trying to answer?
To be successful and impactful, an organization needs to have a clear understanding of the needs it exists to respond to and how it works to make positive change. We know that our sector faces some very big challenges and great expectations. We want to be relevant and contribute in a meaningful way to addressing those challenges. With the fast pace of change today, organizations have to be able to adapt and even change direction when needed. So, we’ll ask a lot of questions to a lot of people that will help us answer:
– What impact do we want to make?
– How do we grow that impact through our membership?
We’ve recruited a great volunteer Steering Group to drive the process. We don’t know yet where this will lead. It may mean some changes and even some tough decisions; it will definitely involve some rich conversations.
How can you get involved?
We want to talk to a good mix of people who are interested in our future. Our first priority is to create opportunities for our members to give their input. Each member has insights and inputs that we need for this conversation.
We hope to have an in-person session in all areas. So far, we can confirm:
Meet the Scottish Area Committee & Bowling Social Fri 17/03/23 15.00 – 19.30
If you can’t get to the in-person meetings, don’t worry, there will be five online consultations as well:
Plus a session for members of the Young Person’s Network – date to be confirmed
It’s also important that we get a good understanding of how we’re seen by our peers, partners and the wider sector. We’ll be making sure there are opportunities to have that valuable dialogue and input into the review.
We have a terrific foundation to build on and we have a great opportunity to strengthen IWater and increase our impact. Together, we will arrive at the answers and a clear direction.
Gaby Mandell, CEO, Institute of Water