Pipe up: Michelle Lewis and Maria Vardy

“Blueprint for Yorkshire is the platform by which we are delivering our vision for the future.”

The Yorkshire region has a population of five million with a diverse landscape, including National Parks, a long coastline and several large cities. In December Yorkshire Water will submit its plans for the 2014 price review (PR14) to Ofwat. To plan for a sustainable future, we began by conducting detailed research with over 8,000 household and business customers, asking them what they need from us over the next 25 years.
The outcome was the development of seven key aims that form the foundations of Blueprint for Yorkshire: providing clean safe drinking water; making sure customers always have enough water; taking care of wastewater and protecting customers and the environment from sewer flooding; protecting and improving the water environment; understanding the impact on the wider environment and acting responsibly; providing valued customer service; and keeping bills as low possible.
Developed and launched with the help of long-term partner Jaywing, Blueprint for Yorkshire is the platform by which we are delivering our vision for the future. With a changing climate, growing population, rising costs and decreasing availability of resources, some big challenges lie ahead. The Blueprint for Yorkshire is a wide-ranging programme of activity designed to engage all our stakeholders, both internal and external, by fostering a culture of responsibility for the water environment in the region.
The programme was launched internally in May, rolled out to customers in June and is starting to take shape with some recent initiatives. A larger consultation with a further 30,000 customers has revealed widespread customer support for Yorkshire Water’s plans.
“Doing the Dirty” was a region-wide, integrated campaign that illustrated the impact of the wastewater service on the water environment. The campaign sought to discourage people from practices such as pouring fat down sinks by directly linking cause with effect, by highlighting the consequences of such actions.
Beyond consumer education, a programme of work to improve water quality in the Don catchment area, which three decades ago was dubbed one of the most polluted in Europe, aspires to see salmon swimming through the centre of Sheffield again.
All this is just the beginning of our Blueprint for Yorkshire journey. We’re delighted with the results so far and excited for what the coming months will bring.
Michelle Lewis, director of corporate communication, Yorkshire Water and Maria Vardy, managing director, Jaywing