Urgent action is needed on the management of water resources, urged a business taskforce including a number of UK water companies on Thursday.

The Business in the Community (BITC) water taskforce, chair by United Utilities chief executive Steve Mogford, is calling on UK businesses to improve their resilience and to reduce their water consumption in an attempt to limit the impacts of drought or floods. This would reduce the amount volume of water the water companies would have to source, abstract, treat, and supply.

The BITC also states that action is required to ensure UK businesses comply with policy and legislation, such as the EU Water Framework Directive and the Water Act. Doing so could help boost their earning potential, the group added.

Mogford said: “Businesses, within and outside the water industry, increasingly recognise the importance of using water more efficiently and becoming more resilient to water shortages and flooding.

“They also recognise the opportunities and business value brought by action. Taking action is essential for our long-term prosperity and the longer businesses wait, the greater the costs of catching up.”

Members of the water taskforce include: Anglian Water; United Utilities; the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra); Welsh Water; EDF Energy, the Environment Agency, Yorkshire Water, Northumbrian Water, and Thames Water.

BITC’s water taskforce has also received £150,000 of funding from the government to help deliver a food supply chain project whereby a network of businesses will be created to share expertise and encourage action on water supplies, flood risk, and pollution.

Water minister Dan Rogerson said: “Across the country, many individual businesses are doing great things to help protect water quality and the environment.

“We believe businesses working together and sharing best practice is crucial to encourage others to do the same.”

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