VOTE – British Water’s Technical Forum Elections

Ofwat’s expectation for utilities to embrace innovation to meet stretching AMP7/SR21 targets represents a huge opportunity for the supply chain.

Andrew Baird, technical director at WPL, wants to remove barriers facing small and medium-sized businesses to ensure a level playing field for companies of all sizes in the introduction of their technology to water companies.

He has set out a detailed plan on how, as chair of British Water’s Technical Forum, he would achieve this.

Key steps include:

  • Establishing a British Water database of pre-approved equipment and technology suppliers, including setting a process of due diligence, to be underwritten by British Water.
  • Working with British Standards and the Drinking Water Inspectorate to create technical standards
  • Engaging more closely with government policy makers to raise the profile of new technologies being developed and British Water pre-approved suppliers
  • Working with British Water’s Innovation Forum to showcase new technologies to utilities – pre-screened to ensure quality
  • Lobbying utilities to move forward with technologies of interest
  • Working closely with the regulators to remove barriers to innovation

Ofwat has said change in the water industry is “essential and indeed inevitable” and Baird believes now is the time for the Technical Forum to have a larger voice as the sector transitions.

Andrew would like to see closer engagement with British Water members, so the forum can grow, become even more inclusive and have a greater influence on policy and decision making, creating positive, tangible change for those in the supply chain.

An experienced convenor, chairing British Water’s Wastewater Treatment Group (formerly the Packaged Treatment Plant Forum) for the last five years, Baird is well positioned to influence legislative changes. Under his chairmanship, the PTP Forum has grown in numbers with an increased remit to cover larger wastewater treatment plants and initiate technical improvements, liaising with stakeholders to raise standards in the industry.

He has sat on the European committee representing the British Standards Institute on behalf of British Water, setting BS EN 12566-3 standards for small packaged treatment plants; has lobbied the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), Natural Resources Wales and the Environment Agency on behalf of members; written guidance notes for SEPA on the installation and maintenance of packaged treatment plants, and was involved in the introduction of British Water’s Accredited Service Engineers training scheme for those working in small wastewater treatment plants.

Highly experienced, Andrew’s career has spanned 30 years, and covered both clean water and wastewater treatment. He has spent the last 14 years at WPL helping to develop the business which now provides technologies to all the major water utilities and larger commercial customers.

Baird is a respected industry thought-leader and would bring significant experience and enthusiasm to the Technical Forum, providing optimum support to British Water members throughout AMP7, and ensuring doors to commercial opportunities are open to all.