Today Spring is excited to announce the launch of the Providing Clean Water for All  Spring community, which aims to increase awareness about the value of clean water by facilitating insightful dialogue and knowledge sharing. This new community is co-led by experienced thematic experts, including:

  • Paul Gaskin, Research and Innovation Manager at Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water;
  • Joby Boxall, Professor of Water Infrastructure Engineering at the University of Sheffield; and
  • Steven Wade, Technical Director in Climate Resilience at Atkins.

Reflecting on the need for this community during our Co-Lead mobilisation session, Paul Gaskin recognised that “A lot of work has been done in silos to achieve high water quality standards for all…[and] now it is time to connect the dots between existing initiatives and future ones.”  Similarly, Joby Boxall mentioned that “continuing to supply safe clean water via our ageing infrastructure presents huge challenges that we must come together and collaborate to overcome”. In thinking through other goals for the community, our Co-Leads coalesced around the following aims:

  • Increasing sectoral understanding of the impacts of clean water on human health and the wider water resource implications;
  • Identifying novel means of understanding and managing all aspects of water quality due to the complex interaction of physical, chemical and biological processes which occur to ensure compliance with the best standards; and
  • Positively engaging all stakeholders to ensure better understanding and action on the roles and responsibilities we all have for ensuring the supply of high-quality water.

While there’s no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to driving Clean Water for All, our conversation made it clear that collaboration and idea sharing will be critical to the sector achieving the targets set in the Water Innovation Strategy 2050. These two should go hand-in-hand, as the sector needs more “communication in order to drive collaboration and catalyse idea sharing”, according to Paul Gaskin. In the same vein, Steven Wade remarked “we should increase signposting of new water and climate data sets, digital tools and best practice in water supply operations, strategic planning and how to meet challenging environmental, water efficiency, net zero and resilience targets; the success of the community could be measured based on uptake of new innovative methods and creation of new partnerships”.

There are several ways by which companies can collaborate along this journey, whether that’s at the operational level (to deliver zero chemical and low energy processes across the sector) or at the customer level (to achieve zero water supply interruptions), through joint research projects, disseminating best practices, co-producing proposals, running events with customer groups and more. Spring aims to use this newest community to help drive that cross-company collaboration, with the ambition of unearthing white-space innovation opportunities relevant to the theme. These may include – but are not limited to – solutions related to early detection of contaminants, improved asset monitoring and application of digital twins, and development of non-invasive repair and asset optimisation methods.

If you are interested in moving the needle towards a world which has Clean Water for All, you can engage our Co-Leads in conversation by joining the community here!