Many industries are being affected by a combination of unusual factors in 2020, and the Water sector is no different. We are seeing the start of a new Asset Management Plan (AMP) cycle, with Covid-19 affecting project timelines, huge surges in water usage during significant spells of warmer weather and more people being at home, and a backdrop of tough challenges set by Ofwat, the water services regulatory authority, in terms of expectations for budget, capital delivery and leak reduction.
Ofwat’s message to the Water industry relating to Covid-19 is clear, showing support but also noting that delivery expectations nonetheless remain.
For capital build projects, whilst construction has begun to move out from the shadow of lockdown, many project timelines have been impacted by the pressures and enforced restrictions of recent months. Ofwat, however, has in many cases, made clear that deadlines for project completion are to remain as originally planned, despite the recent setbacks. With this backdrop, Water companies could be facing fines if projects are not completed on time.
With these strict timelines in mind, the construction industry is having to adopt innovation and new ways of doing things in order to accelerate project timelines. This is echoed across the construction sector where we have already seen a huge uptake in digital technology throughout lockdown as highlighted in New Civil Engineer.
It will be interesting to see if the construction sector of the Water industry can develop innovative offerings and embrace digital solutions coming out of lockdown (and the ((potentially domestic)) summer holiday season) to come out fighting in September and meet these targets. Certainly with water under such pressure to deliver, and recent warnings from government reports we could do with some major successes over the next few years to deliver the water infrastructure needed, both for the UK, as well as to placate the regulator requirements.
One innovative way to get projects back on track is by adopting a simple to use, common visualisation platform, that aggregates all your construction data in one place. Every project stakeholder can access, visualise and interact with your project data in real-time from anywhere, providing full context on Water sites and a single source of truth that can boost productivity, collaboration, and enable new insights for more informed decision making - helping control costs and keeping projects on track.
What construction sector innovations are you seeing in the water sector at the moment?
Sensat prides itself on being industry leaders in drone data, quality and accuracy. Through the use of drones, we are able to collect and visualise up-to-date and highly accurate data that is valuable throughout the different design and construction stages of any infrastructure project.