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Innovation and collaboration are at the heart of how we are building a more resilient and sustainable future. It is one of the ways we are addressing water sector challenges such as climate change, population growth and rising expectations of our customers. The water sector needs to step up to make sure it can continue to deliver reliable, resilient and safe water that is affordable for all. We want companies to work more effectively together and with their supply chain, to better tackle the sectors challenges.

We are committed to delivering the Water UK 2050 Water Innovation Strategy themes, to:

  • Provide the services society needs, expects and values
  • Provide clean water for all
  • Protect and enhance natural systems
  • Deliver resilient infrastructure systems
  • Achieve carbon neutrality
  • Take a whole life approach to responsible consumption and production
  • Enable diverse future-ready people and partnership working

The process for agreeing our Business Plan for 2020-2025 with Ofwat provided an opportunity for us to better support a culture and capability for innovation. We have acted and listened to our stakeholders and partners. We have developed a structured approach to drive forward ‘fast follower’ and innovation, which incorporates industry best practice, to deliver for our customers. We have established an Innovation Portfolio, which leads on researching and delivering the most relevant innovations in the water industry and beyond.


Environmental Innovation Projects

In our Business Plan 2020-2025, we committed to completing eight environmentally focussed, innovative projects in our communities for a Performance Commitment, enabling us to improve the knowledge and evidence of water use within our catchments to bring wider benefits in the future.

We are bringing together sector experts, charities, community and environmental groups and other stakeholders to trial the delivery of a range of innovative multi-party projects linked to different environmental themes and water use behaviours. To learn and improve what we do, so that we can develop a deeper understanding of the communities in our region and develop methodologies that can be replicated in the next regulatory period.

In 2021/22 by working in partnership with the community we completed three ‘Environmental Innovation Projects’. In 2022/23 we delivered further projects, focused on behavioural change and water saving. We developed a series of holistic catchment approaches for the River Lea catchment. All these projects have already started delivering greater benefits to our customers and the environment.

Find out more about our Environmental Innovation Projects:

The benefits of all the projects have been assured externally by an independent third party and by the Independent Challenge Group (ICG) (in the past known as Customer Challenge Group) which represents the voice of the customer, to make sure we put customers’ views and their priorities at the forefront of our decisions.

In the past three years, we have extensively engaged with the ICG group, whose primary role was to represent customers’ interests in relation to realising benefits from the projects.


"During the last Price Review, the Independent Customer Challenge Group encouraged Affinity Water to commit to a series of innovative pilot projects that will benefit local environments and local communities. These are an ambitious set of 8 work programmes that involve entirely new thinking for the water sector. The ICG are working closely on each of these programmes, representing customers' views and interests, as they develop. Members are delighted to see the first projects coming to fruition and look forward to challenging the Company to consider an ambitious approach to rolling out successful pilots in the coming years".

Caroline Warner, Independent Chair of the Affinity Water Independent Customer Challenge Group


The group has scrutinised and refined each project. Their questions and challenges have prompted a number of significant changes and improvements for customers.

The verification reports prepared by external third party setting out the benefits delivered from each project can be found below:

Verification Report - 2022/23 (PDF 304KB)

Verification Report - 2021/22 (PDF 181KB)

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