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Future proofing the UK water sector

Atkins has published the Future Proofing the UK Water Sector report which examines four possible future scenarios to determine how drivers such as climate change and population growth could affect the UK’s water sector to 2050.

The scenarios are constructed around two important and highly uncertain drivers of change for the water industry – the cost and availability of energy, and the value customers place on natural resources. Other key drivers are considered including population and urbanisation, climate change, finance, workforce and regulation.

At Atkins, we are seeing changes taking place in cities and the environment across the UK and the emerging impact of these on the water and wastewater sectors – and we want to understand how these changes may affect the infrastructure sector in the future. We want to better understand how the drivers of change may affect water companies and utilities, customers, regulators and the wider infrastructure sector in the UK.

The four scenarios for 2050, which were developed by Atkins with consultants Decision Strategies International (DSI), are named the Graphene Era, the Wood Economy, the Steel Squeeze and the Concrete Jungle. As scenarios, they are not forecasts, but rather narratives on how the UK landscape could unfold and when decisions may need to be made to meet future needs. Although designed for the water industry, these four scenarios have broader applicability.

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