Water is a finite resource and UK demand is increasing at a rate of 1% per year. Do you manage this valuable resource?

Despite over 75% of our planet being covered in water, only 1% of it is fresh water that can be used for human consumption. It is a finite resource and as demand increases at a rate of 1% per year in the UK, pressure and incentives to reduce consumption are likely to be ever increasing. The cheapest m3 of water you’ll use is the one you don’t have to use, so how do you manage water efficiently and use less?

DB Water were established in 2008 and have since been a leading consultancy in helping our customers understand and manage their water portfolios and navigate a complex and ever-changing market.

We understand that dealing with water and waste supplies can be a real headache when you have a portfolio of properties across different water market areas. The UK Water Market can be difficult to navigate as there are essentially 4 different markets operating in Scotland, England, Ireland and Wales, each with their own set of regulations and practices. Scotland and England are deregulated providing you with a choice of suppliers, whereas Wales and Ireland are not.

We recommend reviewing your water suppliers in order to negotiate the most competitive price that will also deliver the service you need. This combined with managing water consumption will provide cost savings of between 10 and 50% and can be achieved through DB Water Stewardship.

What is Water Stewardship?

Stewardship is the job of supervising or taking care of something, such as an organization or property. With DB Water Stewardship we do just that, take your property portfolio and take care of all things water on your behalf.

There are 3 key steps to DB Water stewardship as follows:

  1. Understand and consolidate
  2. Analyse and reduce your consumption
  3. Service and Review your portfolio

1. Understanding the net cost of water

The cost of water and charging mechanisms vary from region to region throughout the UK making it complex to compare. Combine this with the fact that retailers price in a variety of ways and water procurement can be time consuming and many businesses have fallen victim to opting for a discount that doesn’t deliver the savings it promises.

We provide quotations from a panel of reputable suppliers that compare costs on a like for like basis and gain value by getting the correct payment terms and billing frequency and format for your portfolio. Discounts on tariffs are typically 2%-20% but there can be additional value in changing your payment terms and frequency to improve cashflow for your business.

DB Water can minimise your risk and liability by taking on your accounts in our name and recharging them to you in the most effective way for your business.

2. Consolidate and Analyse

Once a water supplier has been appointed, we manage the consolidation of you supplies to one supplier. We will track switching performance, log your sites and validate all closing bills to provide a transparent efficient switch. You will no longer need to deal with multiple suppliers as DB group can manage them on your behalf.

Once supplies are established in one place we can understand each sites annual spend profile and ensure tariffs applied to vacant premises are the most cost effective for you. We validate all supplier bills using our software to increase billing accuracy and gain a true understanding of your water spend, identifying areas for improvement.

3. Service and Review

Water Stewardship ensures all queries are logged as a case and managed through our CRM system delivering you with improved resolution times and visibility of open cases. We will review and manage supplier performance and continuously review your water costs to ensure best value for money.

The Benefits of Water Stewardship?

If your company operates across the UK and hasn’t already consolidated their water contracts, you could be having to interact with up to 22 different water companies. Each have their own set of operating practises, allowance rules, tariffs and charging mechanisms not to mention the plethora of varying ways to charge you for water and waste services.

With an ever-changing portfolio we recognise its important for you to be charged appropriately for vacant properties. Stewardship means that all change of tenancy are recorded and managed quickly, we will carry out regular portfolio reviews with you to ensure you are only being charged for properties you manage.

Our reporting will provide you with visibility of your portfolio and spend and consumption by site each quarter along with peace of mind that your water accounts are being proactively managed. You will also contribute to CSR targets by having evidence of accurate consumption information for each site and recommendations for Water Management strategies to reduce your overall consumption.

The Impact of Managing Water Consumption effectively within our portfolio?

Industry and commerce in the UK accounts for the use of 1,363,750 litres per year. Around 30% of this is made up of domestic usage i.e., office toilets, urinals, sinks and food preparation facilities. All of your properties are likely to have some or all of these services, provided an opportunity to reduce overall consumption.

The average water use per FTE in an office building is 25-30 litres per day. This increases to 40 litres per day when there are canteen facilities on a site and increases further where water is used as part of a manufacturing process. We can use this information and other industry standards to help benchmark your portfolio and identify properties that are performing below expected levels.

We can then work with you to recommend the appropriate actions to help bring any top consuming sites to within the industry norms. Our DB Enviro team can carry out water audit surveys to identify practical solutions to improve water consumption across your portfolio.

It is estimated that 1 in 300 buildings in the UK has some sort of leak, which would contribute to the efficiency and cost associated with any building you own or manage. Our reporting and benchmarking capabilities can help you identify leakage and our team can support in getting these located and resolved.

A combination of Water Procurement, Stewardship and Management will result in significant cost savings and more importantly effectively management of this valuable resource.

Further Reading

Find out more on what Water Stewardship from the Water Footprint Network.

Find out how you can reduce your businesses’ water waste here.