Severn Trent and United Utilities have joined a new global coalition created to develop innovative technologies to help protect scarce water resources in the face of the twin challenges of climate change and rising populations.

Both companies have contributed investment to the multi-million-pound World Water Innovation Fund, which includes members from the UK, the Americas and Australia.

Severn Trent chief executive Liv Garfield said: “We couldn’t be more excited about the launch of the worldwide innovation fund.
“We believe that the partners that have come together will actually make a genuine huge difference to our sector on a global basis.

“By creating this fund we’ve joined forces with like-minded companies from across the globe who recognise the challenges we face and who want to do things differently, to find new ways of working, and to leave a lasting water legacy for future generations.”

Each member will conduct a series of large-scale trials of new technologies and create a seed-fund to accelerate innovation in the water sector.

Kieran Brocklebank, head of innovation at United Utilities, said: “We need to inspire new innovations, we need to get better ideas into our organisations so we can tackle this leakage problem head on.”

Meanwhile, Ofwat senior director John Russell said: “The challenges facing the water sector are profound, long-term and global. Innovation is vital to meeting the challenge of significant leakage reduction.

“That is why it is so important to see companies across the world pooling resources and ideas.

“This is a step towards embracing that collaboration culture to foster a global response which is creative, ambitious, and able to solve problems and create new possibilities. It is a really exciting initiative and we’ll follow it with real interest.”

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