Report published examining potential impact of COVID-19 on the water sector
Ofwat and Water UK have today published a report that explores the potential impact Covid-19 might have on the water sector in England and Wales. This report was prepared by Frontier Economics supported by Atkins.
Covid-19 is having a significant impact on all aspects of the UK economy and will continue to do so in the months ahead. In May this year, Ofwat and Water UK decided to work collaboratively to better understand the potential impacts across the industry and jointly commissioned a piece of research to look at the scale of these impacts under a range of future scenarios.
Frontier collected data from water companies in August 2020 which covered the April-July 2020 time period. The report highlights the areas that companies reported were most impacted during this period and might be impacted in the future. However, given the short timeframe for this project, the data that was collected was preliminary. In light of this, and as there is significant uncertainty about the future path of the pandemic, Ofwat and Water UK recognise the report’s conclusions should be interpreted with some caution.
The report establishes helpful shared evidence on the impacts of the early phase of the pandemic and identifies areas (such as the impact on per capita consumption) that had by July already seen significant change and may be materially affected going forward, and which could benefit from further exploration. It also finds that companies are likely to be impacted differently depending on their particular circumstances and that there are some opportunities for companies to explore.