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Anglian Water: a multi-sector approach to catchment management

Water availability is an issue of direct relevance to Anglian Water. However, Anglian Water only manages a portion of the water used in its region and for some time has believed that there needs to be a greater ownership of the challenges facing water companies in order to achieve favourable outcomes.

Anglian waterThis was tested in the Wissey Catchment, as part of the Sink or Swim collaboratory with the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL). The Wissey catchment is faced with increasing demand for water whilst at the same time suffering from decreasing water availability.

A practical example to resolve this challenge was explored; specifically a reservoir that meets the predicted customer demand with 75 per cent of its capacity and supports agriculture and the environment with the remaining 25 per cent. A successful system could benefit the water company as well as other sectors in the region by generating financial economies of scale, enabling efficient management of licences and permits, supporting protection of agricultural production and maintaining environmental quality.

The project took a multi-sector approach to innovate four models for cross-sector finance; it considered different ways of using the existing and new finance channels to address the water asset investment challenges in the UK. This case study opened the door for business to build coherent water investment and management strategies with government. Such a strategy generates a secure supply of water which will create resilience and reduce risks across multiple sectors. 

Related links

Andy Brown’s blog on Anglian Water’s collaborative approach to safeguarding water supplies

Our work on exploring water financing models 

Our work on integrating water management 

Our work that looks into the value of water stewardship



Dr Gemma Cranston
Senior Programme Manager