iiE Awards: How We Use Water in the Future

12/10/2021 - 12/10/2021 (2pm - 3pm)
Central East North East North West South East & London South West West Midlands Yorkshire and Humber
How we use water for the future

Date: Tuesday 12th October 2021

Time: 2pm – 3pm

Award category: Water Saviour Award

Sponsor: This category is available for sponsorship; contact [email protected] to enquire.

We all have easy access to water on a daily basis, but did you know “the UK has less available water per person than most other European countries, London is drier than Istanbul, and the South East of England has less water available per person than some African countries?” (Waterwise). With the UK population rising, demand increasing and climate change making waterfall less predictable, the need for water efficiency is critical. We will explore how water impacts communities and wildlife, plus discuss simple and more innovative measures to make your business more efficient. For this we will be joined by guest speaker Nicci Russell, Managing Director at Waterwise and Ben Earl, Director of Sustainability & Water Efficiency at Skewb.


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Nicci Russell, Managing Director at Water Wise

Nicci Russell

Nicci has been Managing Director at Waterwise since March 2017. From 2013 to 2017, Nicci was a Director at Ofwat, where she led Ofwat’s work on resilience and independent regulation and its relationship with the UK and Welsh Governments and with environmental groups. She also led Ofwat’s strategic approach in Wales and was involved in developing the 2019 Price Review and retail market opening in England.

Nicci has judged the Institute of Water’s Innovation Awards and the Water Industry Awards every year since 2018.

In 2018 she was awarded Honorary Fellowship of the Chartered Institute of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM).

Nicci is an active mentor in the water sector. She chairs Defra’s new Senior Water Demand Steering Group, co-chairs Waterwise’s Retailers Leadership Group for Water Efficiency, and sits on Defra’s Expert Group on water targets for the Environment Bill and ACEVO’s Climate Crisis Working Group.

Nicci’s background is in government and policy, including 7 years as a Special Adviser. She was Special Adviser to Margaret Beckett, the then Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, from 2001 to 2005. She co-founded Waterwise in 2005.


Ben Earl, Director of Sustainability & Water Efficiency at Skewb

Ben Earl

Ben is Director of Sustainability, Energy & Water Efficiency for utility consultancy Skewb where he is leading on key partnerships across various sectors. Ben recently joined from Southern Water where he was Head of Water Efficiency which involved delivering Target 100, the multi-million pound demand reduction programme across the South East to meet water efficiency targets.

Before working for a Utility, Ben was Climate Change Advisor and then Environmental Affairs Manager for B&Q where he delivered key business sustainability targets and improvements to products purchased by customers.

Ben’s early career was spent working for several politicians before a fundraising and communications role for the Woodland Trust. The theme of community development and the education of children was further developed with a fundraising and communication position at Oxfordshire based, Earth Trust.

In 2016 Ben was appointed Chair of the UNESCO Biosphere Delivery Board for Brighton & Lewes Downs until his move to Skewb. He is currently leading ‘Future South’, a public/private partnership promoting sustainable development across the Solent.