Experts hail success of World Water Congress

3 June 2015

Experts hail success of World Water Congress

The XV World Water Congress, which took place at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre in May, sought to explore Global Water as a resource for economic, social and environmental development.

Among those who took their place in the impressive speaker line-up for the five-day event were water sector experts from leading UK law firm Shepherd and Wedderburn. Partner Gordon Downie chaired a special session entitled ‘The Search for Legitimacy – The Roles of Regulation and Competition.’

Among speakers taking part, there was a broad consensus that regulation in the water sector was justified because the sector was monopolistic in nature; public interest needed to be considered – safety of supply of water and sewerage services; and due to major market failures. Click here to read the notes from the session.

Shepherd and Wedderburn Associate Fiona Parker presented a talk entitled: ‘Competition without Privatisation: The Scottish Water Model’, in which the following questions were addressed: “Is it possible to have useful competition without privatisation? If so, how?” The notes from this session can be viewed by clicking here.

Gordon, who hailed a “truly outstanding group of speakers”, talked about the challenges around providing citizens with secure, sustainable and affordable water services and how there is a huge governance challenge faced by societies across the globe with regards to water services.

He added: “The Congress presented Shepherd and Wedderburn a unique opportunity to share and exchange ideas with leaders in the fields of water governance and regulation. We enjoyed making valuable new links over the course of the week.”

Liz McRobb ,