Welsh Water is the sixth largest of the ten regulated water and sewerage companies in England and Wales and is responsible for providing over 3 million people with drinking water and for treatment and disposal of wastewater. They are committed to delivering best quality service at least possible cost. Since 2001, DCWW has been owned, financed and managed by Glas Cymru, which is a company limited by guarantee and as such has no shareholders and is run solely for the benefit of customers. This business model aims to reduce Welsh Water's asset financing cost, the water industry's single biggest cost, and improve service delivery by employing best in class contract partners for each business activity.
Under Glas Cymru's ownership, Welsh Water's assets and capital investment are financed by bonds and retained financial surpluses. All day-to-day activities are carried out by specialist contract partners selected following a competitive procurement process, therefore the company out sources all engineering and operational activities. Efficiency savings to date have been used to insulate Welsh Water customers from any unexpected costs and also to improve credit quality so that Welsh Water's cost of finance can be kept as low as possible. This funding model is unique in the UK, it allows DCWW to take a longer term view of investment than is common in the UK as a result DCWW has developed ‘Green Space Wales’ - an initiative to promote natural drainage to help the sewerage network cope better with climate change and increasing urbanisation and to reduce incidents of sewage flooding. This work is currently being developed as part of a surface water management strategy by MWH on behalf of DCWW. As part of this initiative, DCWW is engaging with partners throughout Wales to raise awareness of what can be done to reduce the risk of sewer flooding due to intense rain storms and the increasing amount of surface water run-off from roofs and paved areas. Wales is a UK leader in utilising natural drainage to reduce sewer flooding, they are already working with the Welsh Assembly Government, the Environment Agency Wales, the Consumer Council for Water and the Welsh Local Government Association to raise awareness and engage on this issue. They have experience in not only utilising innovative rainwater management techniques but in also developing effective methods for public participation in such initiatives.
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