How Resilient Is The UK’s Water Infrastructure?
Although you may not think about it actively, you are probably aware that the UK’s water infrastructure could do with an upgrade in places.
As the BBC reported last year, the industry in England and Wales loses three billion litres of water to leaks alone every day. However, it isn’t only leaks that water companies and therefore businesses have to be concerned about.
WWT Online recently reported that Ofwat required all water companies to include their measures to ensure the long-term resilience of the country’s water infrastructure in the business plans they submitted as part of the regulator’s most recent water sector investment cycle.
Resilience isn’t just measured in terms of how well the physical infrastructure can last, but also in terms of how well protected it is from the likes of terror attacks.
The physical security of water sites in England and Wales is a concern, the news provider explained, because the country’s terrorism threat level is still considered to be “substantial”. There are a range of solutions that water companies need to use in order to make their sites secure.
Modern surveillance systems are a good choice, particularly for unmanned sites, while body cameras are increasingly being used by those working on water utility sites. These body-worn cameras are considered to be an “extension to any fixed security system, complementing existing network surveillance cameras by becoming the eyes and ears on the ground”.
These cameras become particularly important when an operative is called to check an alert at an unmanned satellite site, for instance, with the body camera allowing them to capture video in any areas or blindspots that are outside the range of the fixed security system.
This technology is also good news for the people who work for the water companies, as it offers them additional protection and security. It also demonstrates a high duty of care on the part of the business, and is especially important for lone workers who can be monitored to ensure their safety at all times.
For those working to repair the UK’s water systems, what they record on their body cams can also be proof of the standard of their work and show that checklists and inventories are completed.
Although the use of body-worn technology is still growing in the UK’s water industry, the publication suggested that this could be what’s required to “help create a smarter, safer and more resilient water sector”.
An article for Counter Terror Business pointed out that one of the challenges for the water sector is that our water in the UK comes from so many diverse sources. As well as reservoirs, it is sourced from rivers, streams, deep wells and lakes. In addition there is also desalination and wastewater treatment.
This means there are many touchpoints that could provide a terrorist group with access to the country’s water supply, some of which are incredibly challenging to monitor. However, the article described the distribution system as “the most vulnerable element of the water supply system”.
If water supply is crucial for your business to thrive and grow, make sure you compare business water suppliers carefully to find the right one that can meet all of your needs and ensure the security of your supply.