"Capita’s expertise in transforming customer experience across all channels. "
Well, that's one way to put it, I suppose.
The water wells across parts of England* may be running dry but Southern Water has kept the taps running on its long running managed service deal with Capita, extending the contacts initially by five years for £30m. The renewal was confirmed to the London Stock Exchange today by shape shifting Capita, a company that lost £515m …
Yep, I was just about to point out that it didn't say improving...
I am reminded of the Ministry of Alterations "We, Change people from being alive people to being dead people" from the Red Dwarf - Back to Reality.
"I've had to fight for work. What was I doing wrong?"
a) Doing it right the first time, or fixing it the first time it went wrong. Terrible mistake made by many SMEs :)
b) Ensuring they get charged 10x the cost, but spread out in a way that best suits their tax arrangements.
c) Making sure enough of that rakage gets siphoned back into paying non-exec directors for 5 days work a year after they retire from their previous jobs of awarding you contracts
d) Having ethics, morals and/or a soul. Again, terrible mistake made by otherwise fabulous SMEs :D
Also means looking at, for example, why most new houses and other water consuming business are built in the south of England particularly, and indeed the additional loss of groundwater caused by buildings and paved areas not percolating into the ground.
I am sure England will look like the opening scene from Blade Runner before anyone will really care about the Countryside.
I read an article recently on the effect of fracking on the water supply. It could potentially contaminate water used in the fracking process due to the chemicals it's mixed with - and it uses a lot of water. I don't profess to be an expert but I haven't read much if any positive articles about fracking except by the companies trying to make money out of it.
We gain a gas supply but lose a water supply and cause earth quakes.
Well, duh, then actually build some more capacity, instead of sweating the existing reservoir stock to supply more people.
Or, you know, fix the leaks. I was reading somewhere (I'm tired - go and look for yourself...) that in England and Wales the water supply pipes leak about a bathful of water per day for each household. Get that squared up and the supply would be in rude health for the extra demand. At least for a decent interval...
It is cheaper for the water companies to lose 20% of their product through leaks than it is to fix those leaks
I know, but the thing is that the leaks won't fix themselves. And new leaks will appear over time. So at what point is it not more profitable to just piss away the drinking water? Besides which, if it costs £10k to fix a leaky pipe that's losing £1k a year, then it will eventually pay for itself and keep paying for itself.
I'm sure there's logic there. I just don't see it.
Anyway, apparently my street is being closed next week to repair water pipes. That'll be fun - there's only one way in and out...
"Besides which, if it costs £10k to fix a leaky pipe that's losing £1k a year,"
I'm not sure how water ownership rules work in the UK, but the water company will not be paying for all it's supply, as rainfall would be free. The amount they can take from rivers and aquifers is presumably limited and possibly paid for, but at a fixed rate.
So, broadly speaking, the "cost" of water is a mix of fixed, free and infrastructure for collecting, storing and distributing it.
So a leaky pipe costs the water company almost nothing, as long as enough pressure remains to get it through to paying customers meter. But fixing the pipe does. Replacing the pipe probably costs almost as much as a repair, so from a fiscal perspective it can be leaky as hell but "working", so you run it until it breaks, then you fix it.
The markup on water is huge*, far more than power or internet (and those can get pretty brutal). Losing half your supply to leaks just means you double the cost to your clients. It's not like they can go anywhere else.
So you sweat (squeeze? drain?) the assets and avoid capex, and bank the profits. What else can be expected for a private company?
* the water company around here is originally a Roman organisation that became a government-like agency. It's well run, pretty transparent, low bills for the service and quality, and they are still charging a buck for something that costs them 2-5 cents. At least the rest gets spent on infrastructure.
it can be leaky as hell but "working", so you run it until it breaks, then you fix it
Unless it happens to be a mains pipe under Station Road, New Barnet sometime in the early 1980's - the water company not only had to pay for the repairs to the pipe (in several places - it was established that they knew all about the big leaks but didn't want the hassle of having to close the road to fix it..) but also the costs for extracting the bus (and repairing it) that had fallen into the large void that the leaking pipe had caused in the clay under the road.
I've never seen half a bus sticking out of a big hole in the road since..
Wel, if the people who would benefit from the leaks being fixed would be prepared to pay for their benefit, it would happen fairly quickly.
I am open to correction, but I think most householders and companies already pay for their water supplies --- which is really a compulsory tax since there are bad consequences to going without water permanently: something which escaped the dotty mind of the old loon Thatcher --- and expect utilities to do their jobs without extra one-off donations.
Well, duh, then actually build some more capacity
It's not that we lack water (this summer aside, have you seen our weather?), it's that we have an infrastructure that was, in a lot of cases, built by engineers a hundred years ago..
So, as the article says, a huge amount is lost to leaks and wastage. Fixing that lot would negate a lot of the need for new reservoirs.. (besides which, do you happen to have several spare valleys with existing water supplies that can be dammed up to make them? It's not just a case of digging a big pit y'know).
Most of the rain falls where there aren't that many people living (eg Scotland, Cornwall)
You left out Wales and N.I - where it rains a lot. Maybe not heavily, but seemingly consistently.
Don't know about Wales, but N.I water is still on the rates (or was until recently) and with mostly sod all investment (and total lack of any effective Political leadership for decades) if it actually stops raining for any more than a few weeks, the leaky system can't retain much of a reserve.
Obligatory link to "running out of sand" https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/why-even-arab-nations-are-buying-sand/articleshow/60492513.cms
It's particularly ironic that the Rainy City should be the first to get hit by a hosepipe ban. Although we get our water supply from the Lake District. I think Liverpool gets theirs from North Wales, and presumably Leeds/Bradford/Sheffield from the Peak district.
I seem to recall that the North also supplies the South in times of drought. So water is already treated as a National resource. But you can't expect the regional, privatised water companies to plan nationally, so it's back to the government/Parliament/taxpayers that allowed that situation to develop, for additional capture & storage capacity.
Last time I looked at a map, islands are traditionally surrounded by water, even if its full of salt or not.
It seems a opportune moment to dust off this clip (At long last someones uploaded it) regarding water quality - The Naked Video Heavy Water Sketch.
I mean I have seen a BBC piece on "Watchdog" about a decade ago. That surely must be fiction, no self-respecting water supplier would ever keep a leak more than a couple of hours.
I mean there once was a broken pipe in the street were I was living. Around 3am I noticed the water pressure being irregular. When I got up the next morning the leak was already fixed and they were preparing to fill up the hole provisorial. That's how it's supposed to be. It's an emergency situation which needs to be dealt with immediately.
no self-respecting water supplier would ever keep a leak more than a couple of hours.
Coincidentally my wife was looking at water leak data this morning(*). The average water company leakage works out at ~120l per household per day. In comparison each person uses on average ~130l/day, which works out at ~310l/household/day. (This is ignoring industrial use.) Thames Water is the worst but a lot of their piping is buried under London, which makes digging it up to fix it a tad difficult. Elsewhere the charges for digging up the road make fixing all but the worst leaks uneconomic. The optimal solution would involve taking a time machine back to Victorian times and changing both legislation and infrastructure engineering.
(*) Part of one of her many jobs. She's an energy and environmental consultant and also sits on two utility company oversight panels, one a water company.
I live a few hundred metres from the Frankly reservoir which is never less than full, thanks to the Elan aquaduct and a valley the City of Birmingham bought over a hundred years ago to ensure the cities water supply.
It's almost like it was possible to plan in the olden days. Thank goodness we put a stop to that. Otherwise we'd have no excitement in our lives. (Although we would have a stable water and power supply).
No doubt, Southern Water is about as useless as my supplier. After having to basically replumb the basement to even get a “Smart Meter” fitted. The only thing smart is that the idiots don’t have to knock on the door outside. I am one hundred percent convinced that the operation of the utility, will be equally as clever. #timesupoldtimers
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