This article will explore recent initiatives in customer engagement in water services in Scotland, UK. Scotland has a well-established and successful model for water services regulation and governance, with a public supplier performing as efficiently as the top quartile of private English companies. One recent innovation has been a form of negotiated settlement between the provider and a group representing customers, as part of the price setting process. The paper will assess the initial intention and the subsequent evolution of this initiative, arguing that such developments can work well, when conditions are right. Enabling conditions may include a surrounding regulatory structure that is sufficiently mature and performing sufficiently well. It will offer some reflections on the process and on the role of such a body in the future, and will also posit that there are features of public sector providers that may make these more, rather than less, conducive to efficient and effective service delivery in the customer interest.
Top International News in Chemical Policy and Regulation
AUSTRALIA Australia Releases Third Consultation Paper Concerning NICNAS Reform:On April 29, 2016, the National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS) published thethird consultation paperon itsreform initiative. This consultation paper summarizes the main stakeholder comments on thesecond consultation paper, and builds on the themes in the second consultation paper to describe key changes to the reform proposals. The third consultation paper provides further details and addresses...
Water-level regulation for freshwater management of Bosten Lake in Xinjiang, China
The Bosten Lake is the largest inland freshwater lake of China, in which water level and salinity fluctuate due to the imbalance between inflows and outflows under climate change and anthropogenic activities. This paper employed system dynamics as an effective methodology to grasp the regulation rules for sustainable freshwater management of the Bosten Lake. Results show the following. (1) Changing of lake water salinity is not only affected by the salinity of water entering and leaving, but is mostly a result of...
A new frontier in Texas: managing and regulating brackish groundwater
The challenge of providing access to clean water is visible in Texas, where chronic drought coincides with increasing water demand. The 2012 Texas State Water Plan reports a 2,700 million cubic metres (MCM) gap between freshwater supply and demand in 2010, a number predicted to grow to 3,100 MCM by 2060. Due to the difficulty of reducing water demand, policy makers and water providers are evaluating new sources, including brackish groundwater for desalination or direct use. It is estimated that Texas aquifers...
Proposed Risk Management Program Regulations on the Way
How Might Your Business be Impacted? Prompted by, among other incidents, a massive explosion at the West Fertilizer Plant located north of Waco, Texas on April 17, 2013, President Obama has issued Executive Order 13650, Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security(EO 13650). The EO directs the government to conduct a number of tasks, including modernizing regulations and strengthening community planning and preparedness. Will Your Business be Impacted? This upcoming change could affect over 12,000 chemical...
A look at some contaminants regulated in drinking water
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulates just over 90 contaminants in public drinking water systems. They include manmade chemicals as well as naturally occurring contaminants from rocks and soil. A look at some of the contaminants that fall under federal or state regulations: ARSENIC: Enters drinking water through eroding natural deposits in the ground or mining and other industrial activity. Studies say excessive pumping of groundwater can increase arsenic levels. Can cause skin damage, circulatory...