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News releases 2015

Atkins has been appointed as lead consultant with partners Mott McDonald and Nera Economic Consulting to carry out a major project for Water UK on the resilience of UK water supplies. The project, ‘Water Resources – Planning for the Long-term’, will shape a framework that takes a long term view of at least 50 years and will seek to strengthen the resilience of water supplies for users across the UK whilst protecting the environment.

With changes in the way that water resources are planned and managed in the UK, in addition to the challenges faced by a changing climate and economy – Atkins will take a lead role in understanding whether there are better ways to allow for uncertainty and risk in water resource and drought planning.

Atkins through its work for individual water companies, UK Water Industry Research (UKWIR), government and regulators alike, holds specific expertise that will allow them to develop new approaches to water resource planning within the water industry. The report is scheduled to be delivered in the summer of 2016.

Ben Piper, technical director, Atkins, said:

“There have never been so many complex challenges for the UK water industry, especially when you take climate challenges into account - severe droughts, floods and sometimes cold weather conditions are increasingly becoming the norm. This combined with tighter than ever industry environmental standards means that the UK water industry is faced with a challenging future.

The Atkins team, with our breadth and depth of expertise and the experience we have developed working for a range of clients including water companies, regulators and the government, is set to develop a forward thinking long-term strategy for Water UK. It will set out what the water industry needs to do now to ensure that we have a dependable water supply for future generations.”

Jean Spencer, chair of the steering group for the project, said:

“Customers’ top priority for the water industry is safe, reliable supplies of water at a price they can afford. To deliver this, it’s critically important that the water industry plans for the long term to meet the significant challenges of climate change, and support growth. Atkins’ expertise will combine with the experience and knowledge of a cross-sector steering group and wide stakeholder input to deliver the robust evidence we need to inform future debate and decisions.” 

Atkins staff are working on three other initiatives that will similarly underpin its work to help to influence policy and strategy in this field. Notable projects/involvements include:

      UKWIR – Atkins is the lead consultant for 2 projects under its Methodologies for Water Resource Management Plan 2019) programme

       Joint UK Research Council MaRIUS project – Atkins is a member of the external stakeholder advisory panel for the Managing the Risks, Impacts and Uncertainties of Drought and Water Scarcity Project

      Regional and individual water company initiatives – such as continuing Atkins involvement in programmes such as Water Resources in the South East (WRSE) 


For more information:

Elaine Garner
Marketing manager, Water
Tel: +44 29290 358069

Notes to editors:

Atkins ( is one of the world's most respected design, engineering and project management consultancies, employing some 18,000 people across the UK, North America, Middle East, Asia Pacific and Europe. We build long term trusted partnerships to create a world where lives are enriched through the implementation of our ideas. You can view Atkins’ recent projects on our website.

The steering group for the project comprises representatives from:

Affinity Water

Anglian Water


Dŵr Cymru

Environment Agency

Natural England

Natural Resources Wales

Northumbrian Water


Severn Trent

South East Water

Southern Water

Thames Water

United Utilities

Water UK

Welsh Government


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