About the Wessex Water Marketplace

An 'open system' approach

After significant investment in our water and sewerage infrastructure, the UK now has world-leading water quality, environmental standards and customer service.

But to continue to deliver at this level, safeguard the environment and maintain appropriate customer bills, the asset-focussed water industry business model has to be challenged.

We have to do things differently, promote competition and encourage new ideas, rather than simply following the historical industry norm of 'grey' asset-based solutions such as building new or bigger treatment centres. We need to work smarter, investing where needed, to ensure we keep customer bills manageable and assets working better.

A 'whole system' approach, in which a wider pool of stakeholders contribute to our outcomes, stimulates a greater range of potential solutions and allows outcomes to be delivered more efficiently. We call this 'open systems'.

The Marketplace platform

Launched in April 2019, the Wessex Water Marketplace is the hub for our 'open systems' approach.

The Marketplace platform hosts specific business challenges that we pose to the wider market so that the best, most innovative ideas emerge. Challenges are open questions rather than asking for a price for a pre-determined solution, and we are open and transparent in our assessment of the solutions. This wider market approach delivers better value for our customers and the environment, through lowering cost or delivering wider outcomes.

Hand in hand with this, we use Marketplace to share our data, be that datasets that support these business challenges or standalone datasets of external interest. Besides increasing transparency, openly publishing data promotes collaboration and innovation, and enhances efficiency. We are committed to moving towards an open data by default position, where data is publicly accessible wherever possible.

We'll use our blog to feedback on our journey as it unfolds.

How to get involved

  • Explore our Marketplace platform. Have a look at the challenges we have run so far, and the datasets we have shared.
  • Sign up to the Marketplace mailing list to stay up to date with all the latest challenges, data releases and news.
  • Get in touch with us. Are there any datasets that you are interested in? Do you have ideas on how we can improve or accelerate our open systems and open data approach? We'd love to hear from you – email us at marketplace@wessexwater.co.uk

Stream: an industry collaboration

Collaboration among water companies is key to transforming the industry's approach to data. We are an active member of Stream, a water sector initiative to unlock the potential of open data to benefit customers, society and the environment. Stream has developed its own open data platform, which complements Marketplace by bringing together standardised datasets from different water companies into a single central hub.