A here-and-now issue

As world leaders meet for COP28, MOSL is using its centralised national insight of England’s non-household (NHH) water market to help shine a spotlight on the risks around climate change, in particular, the risk to businesses for water security.

In 2023, water companies are already having to reject business requests for additional water due to a lack of availability – a situation which will only worsen with an increasing population and extreme weather events linked to climate change. Without effective action in regions such as East Anglia, a lack of water resources will undermine the Government’s ambitions around economic growth and decarbonisation. 

The importance of reducing NHH water demand has been recognised by the UK Government since COP27. New targets require NHH demand to be reduced by 9% by 2038 and 15% by 2050. This is to fill an overall supply-demand shortfall predicted at four billion litres a day by 2050

Water shortage river tried up summer uk

Focusing where it matters

MOSL is in a unique position to support the achievement of national targets to reduce NHH demand as the custodian of central market data – including NHH consumption data. Using insights from this data, MOSL is helping wholesalers and retailers explore water-saving opportunities by identifying and overcoming barriers to meeting environmental targets and facilitating collaboration and innovation across the market.  

In October 2023, MOSL published a large supply point dashboard highlighting the top-consuming 1% NHH water customers in England. While all the 1.2 million NHH customers have the potential to use water more efficiently, the top 1% - 13,800 NHH users use 1.37 billion litres of water per day. That’s half of the total consumption of the market and the equivalent of the average consumption of 9.1 million household customers. These top users, therefore, have a big opportunity to save water and money on their bills.  

If we can better understand these supply points at a market level, we can learn more about customer sectors that can deliver the biggest changes – such as the leisure sector, agricultural and food and drinks manufacturers. These businesses often use water in distinct ways for normal domestic use, in processes like cooling and irrigation and for creating end products, like canned or bottled drinks.

MOSL believes the large supply point dashboard will allow third parties and developers to connect with retailers who understand customers and who might be able to tailor solutions to large customers to reduce demand while still enabling them to meet their growth targets. It also has the potential to inform the development of a national demand reduction strategy and enable wholesalers and retailers to prioritise water efficiency interventions for these customers better and to share learning on what works. 

Commenting on the work, Oli Shelley, Head of Operations at Wave Utilities and Chair of the Retailer Wholesaler Group (RWG) Water Efficiency subgroup, said: 

“MOSL’s provision of a central view of market data insights has been invaluable to my work in NHH water efficiency; the Water Efficiency Dashboard has been especially helpful in providing important context to customers such as current stress levels of the water resource zone they sit in and generally how water-intensive their industry sector is or isn’t when compared to others. 

This insight has also enabled us to target our efforts at market segments with the highest water footprints.  Another unexpected benefit is the role of that data in driving innovation, I have shared the dashboard with numerous water-efficient technology startups who have been blown away by the level of publicly available consumption information, which provides valuable insight into NHH customer behaviour and is helping shape the water efficient technologies of the future.”

You can find a short video introducing the large supply point dashboard below. A longer video demonstration is available on the MOSL website here. You can find all other dashboards on the Market Insights page of the website here.


Notes to editors

MOSL was set up in 2015 and is the market operator for England's non-household water retail market.

MOSL operates the non-household market for the benefit of its members and the customers they serve.

MOSL’s members are the wholesalers and retailers who operate in the market. A full list of members can be found on the MOSL website.

We work with retailers, wholesalers and stakeholders to identify – and implement – ways to improve the market for customers and the environment and contribute to wider sector goals.

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