BEST VALUE FRAMEWORK
There is a new requirement for a Best Value Plan (BVP) to be included in water companies’ regulatory Water Resource Management Plans (WRMPs) submissions. However, there are no consistent guidelines for this task. This has thwarted efforts from water companies to produce their WRMPs and in some instances caused problems with the acceptance of plans by stakeholders.
We joined a team led by HR Wallingford, leading experts in the water sector, to create a unified framework for developing BVPs. The diverse team of specialists included economists, planning and environmental professionals, and experts in law. Decision Lab’s technical specialism lies in objective methods to support complex decision making as well as water investment modelling.
It is a significant challenge to develop an approach that will be used as one unified decision-making instrument. Water resourcing is particularly challenging, as it is characterised by several available courses of action in a changing and uncertain environment, complex interactions between different stakeholders and sectors with often conflicting perspectives on numerous both quantifiable and intangible objectives.
The framework must be flexible enough to be practical for different types of contexts faced by water companies, and careful explanations are needed for its widespread acceptance and adoption.
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