PA Consulting’s Richard Khaldi, a water expert, is quoted in Utility Week's article about water companies preparing for winter weather conditions.
The article explains that water companies have faced some pretty extreme weather which has tested their resilience in the past. Soon after recovering from the rapid-freeze and thaw from the “Beast from the East”, they had to deal with some of the driest weather the UK has ever seen.
Commenting on how water companies will need to respond to the ever-changing extreme weather conditions, Richard explains that Ofwat is likely to take a “much harder line” with any company not prepared. “Companies are coming off the back of a tough year operationally with both the Beast from the East in February and one of the driest summers on record.”
He goes on to say: “Ofwat’s review of companies’ actions during the February freeze and thaw highlighted that most of the issues that occurred were within the control of companies.”
“As we head into winter, I predict that we will see Ofwat taking a much harder line should companies be overwhelmed again with weather events. Ofwat has already shown with the Thames Water Section 19 leakage undertaking that it is willing to take enforcement action if it believes a company does not have sufficient oversight or control over its activities.”
Richard explains that companies need to “make sure their planning and systems are ready for winter, or else be prepared to defend themselves against charges of failing to meet their statutory obligations.”