Copper and Future Water Association have launched their Reputation Steering Group. The group will identify ways for the water sector to strengthen its relationship with society as it navigates significant challenges including delivering its biggest ever investment programme.

The group has been established by Copper Consultancy and the Future Water Association in response to evidence the public want to hear more from water companies – particularly about why new infrastructure is needed and how it will be delivered.

This evidence was first published in Copper’s report “The Water Pipeline: Readiness and reassurance: A study of public attitudes to water infrastructure”.

Copper’s research found less than half of people surveyed felt knowledgeable about how water and wastewater services are provided. Despite this, two-thirds of people agreed new infrastructure is needed – with 40% saying it was needed urgently.

The group will meet regularly to discuss critical issues and share best practice, and will make recommendations for the wider industry to consider. The first set of recommendations will focus on engaging the “silent majority” and understanding what influences their thinking.


Paul Horton, CEO, Future Water Association said:

“The industry is facing a series of unprecedented challenges and the link between successful delivery and the industry’s reputation has never been closer.  The Future Water Association has been working with partners across the sector on various issues for a number of years – focusing on reputation is the latest frontier that we need to tackle.”


Martin McCrink, Managing Partner, Copper said:

“Without societal buy-in to what the industry needs to deliver in the future, programmes will be harder to deliver against budget and timescales. Rebuilding public trust in the sector is critical to success. That’s why we have partnered with Future Water Association and others to establish this important working group which we will hope will be of benefit to industry.”


If you are interested in the group, please contact To hear more about the work of the Future Water Association, please contact