WICS is playing its part to support the Hydro Nation initiative
We share our experiences by working with countries across the world – providing strategic expertise and technical support that helps them build capacity.
This work supports the Scottish Government’s Hydro Nation initiative. Hydro Nation is all about building international partnerships, sharing knowledge and undertaking joint research.
We’ve found that water sectors the world over are facing many of the challenges that we face here in Scotland, such as planning for climate change and ensuring that the industry’s assets will be fit for the future.
Work exchanges allow us to look at regulatory approaches from different perspectives. Read about an exchange with a multi-utility regulator in South Australia
Our collaboration with international regulators and water industry stakeholders includes membership of organisations such as WAREG
The services WICS provides
Our experienced international team provides support and analysis to government organisations, water companies and other stakeholders across the world.
We work with countries close to home, such as Greece and Romania, and much further afield, including New Zealand. We have also signed cooperating agreements (MoUs) with regulatory agencies in nine countries.
The types of support we provide include:
- strategic and governance guidance
- bespoke and ‘off the shelf’ training
- in-country technical support
- analysis of costs, efficiency and benchmarking
- preparation of bespoke annual returns (regulatory information submissions)
- mini draft determinations (the charge setting process).
Our training modules
Our international partners have access to a set of detailed training modules that we have developed. These can be adapted according to a partner’s particular requirements. The programme encompasses:
- why we need economic regulation
- how regulators can regulate
- history of regulation in the UK
- philosophy and practice
- why information is important
- how we set price limits
- how regulators deal with uncertainty
- how we use data
- the financing of a water company
- how a regulator should monitor performance
- what a regulated company’s business plan should look like
- the introduction of the retail market.
We always want to hear from others about their regulatory journey and experience. As part of our training programme we explore topics around, for example, how a governance framework might differentiate between policy and regulatory matters, and how regulators should approach risks that are outside a company’s control.
How do Scotland’s customers benefit?
In addition to supporting the Scottish Government our involvement with Hydro Nation brings a number of benefits to water and sewerage customers back home by:
- helping ensure that we stay at the forefront of regulatory best practice;
- helping us to attract, train, develop and retain staff;
- informing our horizon scanning and helping us challenge ourselves – we learn from the successes and mistakes of our international partners;
- providing us with information that we can use in our day-to-day regulation job in Scotland;
- last, but not least, we really enjoy meeting others who work in the field of regulation!
In the past 20 years, Scottish Water has gone from one of the worst performing water companies in the UK to one of the top performers.
We’ve learned a great deal along the way – and made some mistakes. We want others to benefit from this and are keen to learn from their experiences too.
Hear what our partners say about the work we have done with them.