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Water Sector in England & Wales – a career for you?


The construction sector in relation to water is one that will always be of the utmost importance, for obvious reasons (we need it!). A career in this sector can be rewarding, transferable, and give you possibly unrivalled job security and satisfaction in a sector which will always be required in the world in some form or another.

This blog will take a slightly closer look at the current water industry in England and Wales, how it works, who is involved, and opportunities within.

First of all, let us take a look at some of the water sector companies / clients in different water regions. These include the likes of:

  • Yorkshire Water
  • United Utilities
  • Severn Trent Water
  • Anglian Water
  • Welsh Water
  • Thames Water
  • South West Water
  • Southern
  • Wessex
  • Northumbrian

And which are some of the companies that operate as suppliers to these regions in some capacity?

These are split into contractors and consultants for each region, with some companies providing services to multiple regions in the water sector as nationwide or international construction companies. Some specific companies include (not limited to) Mott MacDonald (and Mott MacDonald Bentley), Turner & Townsend, Arup, Barhale, Costain, Skanska, MWH (now part of Stantec), Atkins, Mace, Balfour Beatty and more. Companies like these work in various alliances, such as the “eight2O” alliance on Thames Water, or the @oneAlliance on Anglian Water, where all companies take a collaborative approach to the maintenance and construction of vast water networks across vast areas.

How does the investment process work?

The water industry in England and Wales works across “AMP’s” – Asset Management Periods. We are now on AMP 6 (2015-2020), with each AMP being a 5 year investment plan, in excess of £1bn for each region stated above, and some being £multi-billion investments over 5 years. Water companies will decide what they want doing and consortiums / alliances will work out how to do this and implement it.

Projects will vary between the maintenance of pipelines, construction of new pipelines, whole new water pipeline networks, the construction of water process plants, and major projects like the Thames Tideway Tunnel is an example of a landmark project in the UK water sector.

How much is being invested?

Figures in 2017 showed that total invested in EACH water region for AMP6 was between £1.6bn and £7.1bn, the largest spend being Thames Water. Around 55% was spent on wastewater, and 45% on water for AMP6, as stated on the environment analyst website: https://environment-analyst.com/56593/market-insight-amp6-boom-and-bust-is-deadlong-live-boom-and-bust

These diagrams shows the figures in more detail, from the same website:





So, what are the commercial opportunities within water in this sector and how are you eligible?

Vacancies are always apparent in the water sector, and you don’t necessarily need water experience. Experience on general civils projects can be transferable in the water sector, with tunnelling or process plant experience being looked upon favourably. Maxim in particular have been busy in the East of England and South of England / London in trying to find QS’s for this type of work, and also been successful in finding overseas expats work in this sector on their return to the UK. NEC contract experience is also looked upon favourably.


Do you want a construction career that is secure, transferable, whilst potentially working on major complex projects from time to time like the Thames Tideway Tunnel or similar? See our list of jobs on our website for more information and send us your CV on our home page – www.maximrecruitment.com.

About the author

Adam Cadwaladr

Recruitment Consultant, UK

I am based from the Maxim Recruitment head office in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire.  I have over 4 years’ experience at Maxim, and specialise in the recruitment of delay, dispute, claims and expert witness staff into some of the best job opportunities available in the UK construction industry.

Latest Job Vacancies: https://www.maximrecruitment.com/quantum-delay-claims-and-dispute-jobs


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