Affinity Water, along with other water companies, operates in a regulated environment. Ofwat, the regulator, required all water companies to submit a Water Resources Management Plan and a Business Plan for their 2019 Price Review (PR19). High quality customer and stakeholder engagement was key to producing these plans. To help achieve this, Affinity Water commissioned Traverse to design and deliver face to face engagement with stakeholders across its regions, on both the draft Water Resources Management Plan (dWRMP) and the draft Business Plan. Between March and May 2018, we designed and delivered seven forums for stakeholders.
We worked closely with Affinity Water to design forums, aiming to:
- achieve a process tailored to local and regional stakeholder needs
- clearly communicate detailed information about the dWRMP and draft Business Plan in ways most appropriate to local stakeholder interest
- create interesting and engaging activities, with clear supporting materials
- capture insight to meet Affinity Water’s research objectives
We delivered seven half-day forums across the three Affinity Water regions, each with a lead facilitator from Traverse and table facilitators from Affinity Water. The notes captured at these forums were analysed to create a summary report.
Stakeholders appreciated the opportunity to explore Affinity Water’s plans, discuss and give feedback on them. Feedback from the forums was very positive, with stakeholders generally agreeing that they felt the information was clear, that they felt listened to and respected, and that forums such as these were important.
We took the comments from the forums and used them to create a report, detailing what participants said about each of the plans, and which were the most common comments and emerging themes. Affinity Water has since used our report to help develop a final version of their Business Plan and a revised WRMP, informed by stakeholder views.