Young Innovators showcase their ideas on how to make water count

Photo of the Young Innovators winning team and judges
Seventeen students, aged between 16 and 18, from across the Cambridge region took part in the first Cambridge Water Young Innovators’ Panel to give the views of future customers.

The students were selected earlier in the year, following an application process, from Cambridgeshire schools. They were given the opportunity to gain new skills and develop innovative ideas, while working on a project on ‘How to reduce household consumption from 330 to 290 litres per day by 2045’.

They spent the summer working in four teams developing a set of initiatives to present to a judging panel from Cambridge Water.

The judging panel demonstrated the Cambridge Water’s to engaging with future customers and consisted of non-executive director, Lord Chris Smith, Cambridge Water’s independent customer panel chairman, Simon Sperryn along with Managing Director Phil Newland; Head of Customer Services, Rachael Merrell; Director of Asset Management and Regulation, Caroline Cooper and Head of Operations, Ciaran Kelly.

Phil Newland, Managing Director at Cambridge Water, explained:

“Our Young Innovators’ Panel is important to us for a number of reasons; Young people are our customers and our bill payers of the future, so it’s vital that we hear their views and start planning now so that we are ready to deliver the service that they want. It’s also important to us because we know that, over time, population growth is putting pressure on the finite and critical resource that is water, so it’s important to talk to young people to understand how we can influence each other to make changes which are sustainable for the future. They bring a fresh and different perceptive to our thinking and we are now assessing how we could take some of their ideas forward.”

Simon Sperryn, Cambridge Water’s independent customer panel chairman, said:

"It was exciting to see these young people coming forward with lots of ideas about how to get people’s consumption of water down. Water is a long-term business and we’re making decisions today which will affect, not just the price of water, but the availability of water and the quality of the environment for the next 25 years. Young people care about these things and when you ask them a question they are full of ideas. And they’re brilliant at thinking outside the box.”

Photo of the winning teamThe winning team came from Hills Road Sixth Form College, Long Road Sixth Form College, Parkside Federation Academy and The Perse Upper School.


Young Innovators' Panel

Find out more about the Young Innovators' Panel

Posted: 19 September 2019