Jean Spencer’s Q&A Response

Ahead of our WWT Water Security in a Changing Environment 2020 we asked Jean Spencer, Chair at National Water Resources Framework the below questions, see what she had to say…

Q. You are speaking at the WWT Water Security in a Changing Environment 2020 Conference, what can the audience expect to learn from your contribution?
The new National Framework for Water Resources will be published in March. In my role as independent chair of the Senior Steering Group, which supported the development of the National Framework, I will be presenting the conference on the framework and on what comes next in delivery through regional plans.

Q. How is the industry responding to the climate crisis? What more needs to be done?
The National Framework reflects the latest science on the impacts of climate change as well as adopting a higher level of resilience to extreme drought events. Regional plans will be developing then analysis and looking at climate changes impacts in more detail.

Q. Which industry developments in the environmental space are you most excited about at the moment?
The whole water sector recognises the need to look afresh at the how we can improve the environment – going beyond reducing abstractions just to maintain the status quo and only delivering statutory requirements. Regional water resource groups are actively seeking engagement with environmental groups, many of whom are at the heart of developing regional plans, to look at how we can be ambitious for the future.

Q. What are you most looking forward to hearing about at the event?
To be able to take action we need to clearly understand which improvements are most beneficial but also to understand the trade-offs. For example, reducing abstraction will require alternative sources to be developed which may in turn have significant environmental impacts such as increased CO2 emissions. It would be good to have a conversation about these trade offs.