Sefton Council elects to self-supply water in partnership with Waterscan

Sefton Council is expecting to improve its environmental performance and achieve significant efficiency savings by entering a self-supply water partnership.

Sefton Council has applied to Ofwat for a water and sewerage self-supply licence (WSSL) following an in-depth options appraisal to determine how best to enter the open water market.

The agreement will provide the Council with greater control of its water management, Jonathan Williams, Utilities Officer at Sefton Council, commented: “Our ambition to self-supply water is driven by our goals to both enhance our environmental performance and achieve cost savings across our property portfolio. Having undertaken a thorough needs analysis, we are confident that self-supply will help us to achieve these goals, in turn paving the way for further investment and innovation across our borough.”

Cllr Paulette Lappin, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regulatory, Compliance & Corporate Services said: “A self-supply licence will mean we’re an active participant in the water market. It will give us much more control over our water use and effluent discharge, enable us to make effective and confident strategic decisions based on accurate information, and build on the success of existing programs like our Climate Emergency Declaration”

Sefton Council’s Energy & Environmental Management Team is responsible for managing gas, electricity and water utility services for council buildings, schools and sport and leisure facilities. Combined, this portfolio of sites totals 184 measured and 64 unmeasured supply points.

With a diverse estate to manage, the team recognised the need for a sophisticated understanding of water service provision, the wider marketplace, regulation and compliance. Sefton Council has therefore taken the decision to enter into a partnership agreement with specialist consultancy Waterscan to assist with its water procurement. With this agreement, Waterscan will conduct meter readings, deal with central market operating system transactions, manage wholesalers and provide technical support and services to uncover further water efficiencies. The Council will pay water and sewerage charges through the usual settlement process and be able to build a direct relationship with the Wholesaler.

Waterscan’s Water Strategy Manager, Anastasia Sousanoglou, highlighted further benefits of Sefton Council being active in the water market. She said: “While many large organisations in the private sector have confidently approached the open water market, it’s incredibly important that the public sector isn’t left behind because of the significant impacts that it has on effective, sustainable water stewardship, nationwide.

“Sefton Council – along with Blackpool Borough Council which was granted a self-supply licence in 2018 – will have an important contribution to make in ensuring that public sector needs are met as the market evolves. It will be able to exercise a public sector customer voice as a member of MOSL, the market operator, and through attendance at Self-Supply User Forums.” https://waterscan.com/