21 February 2019

8:45 am

Registration, refreshments and networking

9:25 am

Introduction from conference chair


  • John Smith

    John Smith
    Regulatory economist and policy advisor

9:35 am

Factors for future planning

  • The very real impact of climate change
  • Energy into the future
  • Population and Economy


9:55 am

Long-term view on regulation

  • Applying learning from regulating water to other industries in NI
  • Continue the regulatory challenge on NI Water


10:15 am

Placing the consumer at the centre of the market

  • Balancing regulation and risk
  • Effective frameworks of reference
  • Prioritising consumer principles


10:35 am

Policy challenges in a post-Brexit world

  • The 10th anniversary: priorities in the last and next 10 years
  • Dealing with uncertainty
  • Continuing cross-border collaboration


  • Dave Foster

    Dave Foster
    Director of regulatory and natural resources policy - Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA)

10:55 am

Questions and panel discussion: Future-proofing the Northern Irish water sector

With Brexit on the horizon just four weeks after the conference, climate change being an ever-pressing issue, and uncertainty and restraints in the economy, seize the opportunity to ask the big questions on what affects your place in the water sector.


  • Linda MacHugh

    Linda MacHugh
    Director of water & drainage policy division - Department for Infrastructure

11:15 am

Refreshments, networking and exhibition

11:45 am


11:45 am

Revolutionising the digital customer experience (outside-in perspective)

  • Collaborating with dynamic and agile partners
  • Overcoming challenges during design and implementation
  • Innovative solutions: the Utileyes app and social listening


12:05 pm

Digital Delivery – A Customer Centric Approach

  • How we have used visualisation to unlock the power of collaboration
  • How this enables customer engagement and buy-in (external and internal)
  • Examples of how this has been applied and the benefits


12:20 pm

Digital transformation in NI Water

  • NI Water’s technology investment priorities
  • Designing systems to suit all consumers
  • Maximising the potential of digital across the network


12:40 pm

Questions and answers

12:55 pm

Buffet lunch, networking and exhibition


The mini-design sprints will see delegates and a series of expert hosts tackle some of the key challenges facing the NI water sector. The host will introduce the topic, and the facilitators will share their experience whilst guiding a debate and workshop discussion with the aim of working towards generating solutions.

Effective energy management

Climate change is the biggest threat to the global economy according to the World Economic Forum; therefore, there is an onus on water & wastewater companies to reduce our carbon footprint. The first breakout group will discuss energy management and energy efficiency and how water companies can meet the challenge of reducing this operational cost and in doing so prepare assets for the large-scale deployment of renewable technologies. The second breakout group will discuss what preparation needs to be undertaken to ensure assets are ready for the large-scale deployment of renewable technology (and the ‘basket’ of renewable technology required to support service delivery).

Colin Murtagh, Energy programme manager, NI Water
Ivor Whittle, Energy management team leader, Wessex Water

Planning for growth

With Northern Ireland’s water infrastructure and development as a backdrop, this mini design sprint will answer:
• How can industry work alongside the NI water sector to support growth?
• Increasing infrastructure capacity is costly: Who is responsible and what is the solution?

Paul Harper, Director of asset delivery, NI Water
Michael Bell, Executive director, NIFDA
Stephen Kelly, CEO, Manufacturing NI

15:10 pm
Refreshments, networking and exhibition


3:40 pm

Capital investment priorities

  • Innovatively addressing asset challenges
  • Effectively integrating with the supply chain
  • Improving network resilience


4:00 pm

Evolution of Scottish Water’s Capital Delivery Model (2002- Present)

  • Scottish Water’s capital investment challenge
  • Creation of Scottish Water Solutions
  • Building in-house capital delivery capability
  • Operating in an alliancing capital delivery


4:20 pm

Effective catchment management (outside-in perspective)

  • The Winterton Water Treatment Works story
  • Innovative and cost-effective collaborative solutions
  • Maintaining quality standards long-term


4:40 pm

Questions and answers

4:55 pm

End of conference