ICF International Identifies Market Oriented Solutions to Address Drought in England
Innovative Solutions Feasible as England Faces Worst Drought in 100 Years
May 22, 2006 -
More than 13 million water customers in the South of England are presently enduring restrictions on their water use as the worst drought in 100 years continues to impact on water supplies in the region. From its extensive work in the UK water sector, ICF International's Water Markets team has identified several possible solutions that could help to alleviate the situation. In the issue paper published today, Drought Floods Water Market with Opportunity, ICF highlights the true value of this essential resource and the need for new thinking on how water can be used and managed more wisely.
"The UK's system of pricing water does not adequately reflect the current shortage. Better pricing systems and greater understanding of customer demand for water would significantly enhance the economics of water conservation," says Dr. Scott Reid, Director of Water Markets in ICF's London Office. "The present situation has awakened the debate for the metering of water use. With recent advances in metering technology, there is a tremendous opportunity to introduce innovative methods of pricing on the back of more sophisticated metering approaches to ensure consumers are rewarded for water conservation and efficiency efforts."
"The other challenge is that consumers are generally not well informed about techniques that promote water efficiency," says Dr. Reid. "Our experience in market transformation in the energy sector suggests that more innovative methods need to be explored. For example, the retail sector may be an effective channel to reach consumers, and approaches such as voluntary products labeling standards could be effective in increasing the diffusion of water-efficiency appliances into the market. Utilities and regulators also must recognize, however, that there are limits to what changes in water use behaviour can achieve. To attain long-term change and align sustainable energy and water use, local planning policies need to be properly integrated with smart water resource management."
The present drought situation has reawakened debates about water use, conservation, and solutions.
About ICF International
ICF International (Nasdaq: ICFI) partners with government and commercial clients to deliver consulting services and technology solutions in the energy, environment, transportation, social programs, defense, and homeland security markets. The firm combines passion for its work with industry expertise and innovative analytics to produce compelling results throughout the entire program life cycle, from analysis and design through implementation and improvement. Since 1969, ICF has been serving government at all levels, major corporations, and multilateral institutions. More than 1,800 employees serve these clients worldwide. ICF’s Web site is http://www.icfi.com.