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Senior Water Demand Reduction Group

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Defra asked Nicci to take on the role as independent Chair of the newly-created Senior Water Demand Reduction Group in 2020.

The Group’s Terms of Reference set out its role as providing a forum for strategic water demand discussions with a unique combination of senior water sector representatives; providing evidence-based advice to government and regulators on the right level of ambition to set on demand management; advising on a method of measuring progress; and monitoring progress against the targets at a national and regional level, making recommendations to regulators, the UK Government and industry on actions needed to correct risks, barriers or under-delivery, or accelerate progress. Membership of the Group includes government, regulators, industry and NGOs in England.

The Group Terms of reference can be found hereas updated in April 2022.

In December 2021, writing as independent Chair of the SWDRG and not on behalf of it, Nicci issued her first report to Ministers, regulators and the water industry in England, reflecting these terms of reference – setting out a series of recommendations to get the agreed need for ambitious demand management back on track. The letter can be found here and the press release can be found here. Writing this report as independent Chair enabled Nicci to draw on discussions in the Group whilst expanding ambition beyond what individual Group members may feel comfortable with. SWDRG members got behind the recommendations and urged Ministers and the sector to keep them all in play.

The SWDRG closed in Summer 2022 after issuing a suite of recommendations to help meet the level of demand management required to meet water resilience needs in England.

The Group’s members were

  • Richard Benwell, CEO, Blueprint for Water
  • Emma Clancy, CEO, Consumer Council for Water
  • Stuart Colville, Director of Policy, Water UK
  • Anne Dacey, Deputy Director, Environment Agency [Observer status]
  • Jo Dow, CEO, Business Stream, representing UK Water Retailers Council
  • Daniel Johns, Managing Director, Water Resources East Chair, UKWESSG
  • Sarah McMath, CEO, MOSL (Deputy Chair)
  • Davide Minotti, Deputy Director, Defra [Observer status]
  • Carl Pheasey, Director, Ofwat [Observer status]
  • Nicci Russell, MD, Waterwise (Chair)
  • Stew Horne, CEO, EST