Memorandum from Thames Water plc
WORLD SUMMIT ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
I was interested to learn that the Environmental
Audit Committee are conducting an inquiry into the UK's preparations
for the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg
in September 2002. Thames Water is working closely with both Government
departments and non-governmental organisations to deliver sustainable
solutions for water and sanitation provision. We welcome the opportunity
to contribute to the inquiry and set out below is an overview
of our involvement in the WSSD preparations which the Committee
may wish to consider as part of their deliberations.
UK Partnering for Water Supply & Sanitatoin
A joint initiative between multi-sector partners
in the UK and Africa.
To develop an innovative approach to the provision
of sustainable water and sanitation to communities without access.
The project was established following a challenge
laid down by the Prime Minister to British industry, specifically
the water sector, to consider practical proposals for the World
Summit on Sustainable Development. The project focuses on the
concepts of sustainability, multi-sector partnership and enhanced
quality of life of the urban poor, with South Africa as the initial
target country. The Governmental sector is lead by the Department
for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and the Department
for International Development (DfID). Thames Water has, and will
continue, to take a leading role in delivering this project on
behalf of the UK water industry.
Thames Water's Commitment
Thames Water was one of the first
companies to respond to the challenge laid down by the Prime Minister
and has been a member of the cross-departmental steering group
managing the project since its inception.
The company has agreed to resource
a project over a three year period and has appointed a South African
national "in-country" manager, with local knowledge
and development experience, to assist in the delivery of a project
that identifies and meets local needs. This is a significant commitment,
not only in terms of resources to the project but also in terms
of supporting our principles of devising and delivering local
solutions to address local problems.
Thames Water's Chief Executive Bill
Alexander met the Prime Minister in November 2001 on behalf of
the UK water industry to reaffirm both Thames Water's and the
sector's commitment to this project.
Two senior representatives of Thames
Water attended the Bonn International Freshwater Conference in
December 2001 in support of the UK Government's launch of the
Thames Water continues to act as
a source of information and best practice and has agreed to work
with the UK Government in order to select an appropriate project
that best meets the needs of the local government and its people
but also maximises the resources that Thames Water has available.
Thames Water and Sustainability
Thames Water has participated in
previous multi-sector partnerships at a global level as part of
the Business Partners for Development Programme, backed by the
World Bank and DfID. The specific project was in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Thames Water has been invited to
work in partnership with the United Nations Economic and Social
Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) to work as part
of a cross sector partnership in delivering a sustainable water
project in India or China.
Thames Water's Chief Operating Officer
chairs a monthly sustainability Group that meets to co-ordinate
activity in this area. This group is also driving the delivery
of an updated sustainability strategy through the organisation
to reflect geopolitical priorities.
In the last year Thames Water, its
employees and customers have raised over £2.3 million for
the company's principal sustainable development charity, WaterAid.
A highlight of the past year was the success of an award-winning
website, www.givewater.org, which has received over three million
visitors from around the world and has raised money to help over
20,000 people where WaterAid is active. It has also served to
highlight to millions of people the plight of those who do not
have access to safe water or adequate sanitation and the work
that Thames Water and WaterAid are doing to alleviate the problems
Thames Water will be taking part
in the United Nations Environment & Development (UNED) UK
Committee Youth Conference by sponsoring two students from the
UK and two students from South Africa to attend the World Summit
on Sustainable Development and a preparatory meeting in the UK.
The students will attend on behalf of nominated NGOs, in this
We would be happy to provide further information,
either in writing or through a personal appearance before the