Water companies from around the globe are joining forces to form the World Water Innovation Fund, which aims to find, develop and accelerate the ground-breaking technologies that will make a real difference to peoples’ lives across the world.
The ambitious multi-million pound fund aims to pool the intellect, resources and funding of some of the world’s most forward looking water companies to protect this precious resource against the growing challenges of climate change and population growth.
Members have each committed resources and investment to a central fund which will then be used to develop innovative techniques and to undertake trailblazing research. Members will each conduct a number of large-scale trials of new technologies, and will create a seed-fund that aims to accelerate water innovation across the world.
An example would be collaborating with leading researchers and manufacturers to develop robotic products that can be standardised for the water industry that could actively seek, locate and even repair leaks inside pipes.
The fund will have a direct benefit to at least 50 million customers but, crucially it will share and publish its findings, allowing customers all around the world to benefit.
Liv Garfield, Severn Trent chief executive said “Water scarcity, triggered by climate change and population, is a huge challenge for the water industry across the world which is why today’s launch is so important."
“We are the custodians of what is a precious resource, and which is so vital to everyone across the world."
“By creating this fund we’ve joined forces with like-minded companies from across the globe who recognise the challenges we face and who want to do things differently, to find new ways of working, and to leave a lasting water legacy for future generations."
“That’s why I’m so excited about what we can achieve by working together.”
Ofwat senior director John Russell said: “The challenges facing the water sector are profound, long-term and global. Innovation is vital to meeting the challenge of significant leakage reduction. That is why it is so important to see companies across the world pooling resources and ideas.
“With the right culture innovation can thrive. This is a step towards embracing that collaboration culture to foster a global response which is creative, ambitious, and able to solve problems and create new possibilities. It is a really exciting initiative and we’ll follow it with real interest.”
The water companies that have signed up span three continents and are:
• From the UK - Severn Trent and United Utilities;
• From the Americas – LADWP and DC Water from the US, and Aegea from Brazil; and
• From Australia - Hunter Water, Melbourne Water, Yarra Valley Water, South East Water and City West Water.