Water Utilities & Services
Each section below relates to the TPT Disclosure Framework principles of Action and Accountability. The below provides further guidance for sub-elements 4.1 and 4.3. The TPT welcomes comments on this guidance to ensure it is as useful as possible for preparers and users. The text is open for comment until Friday, 24 November. Please select the feedback form at the bottom of the page. The final text will be updated in February.
Water Utilities & Services industry entities own and operate water supply and wastewater treatment systems (generally structured as regulated utility businesses) or provide operational and other specialised water services to system owners (usually market-based operations)*. Water supply systems include the sourcing, treatment and distribution of water to residences, businesses and other entities such as governments. Wastewater systems collect and treat wastewater, including sewage, greywater, industrial waste fluids and stormwater runoff, before discharging the resulting effluent back into the environment.
*This summary is primarily applicable to water utilities. Water services companies may support utilities in implementing the decarbonisation levers.
1. Maximising energy efficiency7,9
- identify and deliver energy efficiency opportunities (e.g. upgrading to more efficient pumps and motors, insulate pipes and buildings, and use of smart metering).
2. Support renewable deployment9
- construction of renewables on-site for own use and export;
- power purchase agreements for renewables; and
- co-location of hydrogen production at wastewater treatment sites to utilise oxygen by-product in aerate activated sludge processes.
3. Strengthen demand-side management3,5,9
- support introduction of mandatory water labelling;
- encourage customers to reduce water demand; and
- manage leakage and outage.
4. Resource recovery and export9
- use of biogas for heat generation;
- upgrading biogas to biomethane and exporting or injecting into gas grid; and
- nutrient recovery e.g., recycled sludge or phosphate for fertilisers, bioplastic, construction materials.
5. Reducing process emissions1, 9
- increase monitoring and modelling of process emissions to inform operational adjustments;
- where feasible, upgrade to advanced anaerobic digestion; and
- develop alternative treatment methods (e.g. pyrolysis or gasification).
6. Scale nature-based solutions1, 9
- plant trees and restore degraded peatlands and grasslands on owned land; and
- using nature-based solutions to support resilience (e.g. to improve source water quality and address flood risk).
- total energy consumed (GJ);4
- total annual electricity consumption and percentage met by renewables;4,9
- percentage of water utility revenue from rate structures designed to promote conservation and revenue resilience;4
- customer water savings from efficiency measures, by market (m3);4
- total water sourced from regions with High or Extremely High Baseline Water Stress; percentage purchased from a third party (m3/%);2,4
- volume of recycled water delivered to customers (m3)4; and
- leakage reduction target6.
- outsourced core activity emissions should be captured under relevant Scope 3 category;9
- GHG emissions from use of chemicals;8
- GHG emissions from waste generated in operations from both water and wastewater sludge;8
- GHG emissions associated with transport, treatment and disposal under Scope 1 or relevant Scope 3 category;8
- GHG emissions from fuel and energy-related activities8; and
- total quantity of GHG emissions for all capital projects undertaken8.
Water Utilities & Services literature
- Boston Consulting Group, Nature-Based Solutions to the Water Crisis | BCG , 2023
- CDP, CDP Water Security 2022 Questionnaire, 2022
- DEFRA, Drought: Managing Water Supply, 2021
- IFRS, [Draft] Industry-based Guidance on Implementing IFRS S2, 2022
- Ofwat, Environmental Impact, 2022
- Ofwat, Leakage in the water industry, 2022
- Ofwat, Consultation on regulatory reporting for 2022-23 – Responses document, 2023
- Ofwat, Net Zero Principles Position Paper, 2022
- Water UK, Net Zero 2030 Roadmap, 2020
The TPT welcomes comments on the Sector Summary to ensure it is as useful as possible for preparers and users. The Sector Summary was open for comment until Friday 24 November and, following consideration of the feedback received, will be updated in February. Thank you to the industry experts who provided comments.