Mark Fletcher, global water leader at Arup and an Arup Fellow, has been announced as British Water’s new chair. The appointment was announced at the trade association’s annual general meeting on 28 July 2022 and comes as Chris Loughlin steps down from the role.
Fletcher joined the British Water non-executive board in 2020 and is former chair of the Water Industry Forum, which merged with the organisation in April 2022. He has over 35 years’ experience working across water in the UK and globally.
An international authority on urban water resilience, Fletcher was made an Honorary Fellow of CIWEM in March 2021, a Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng) Fellow in 2019 and an Honorary Fellow of the Society for the Environment in June 2018.
He has worked on the City Water Resilience Approach, developed to help cities grow their capacity to both anticipate and mitigate water-related shocks and stresses. Fletcher was also faculty leader for the Arup University – Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan Business School course, Resilience of Urban Systems from 2017 to 2020.
He said: “I am honoured to be taking up the position of British Water chair. Water is undergoing a rapid but exciting transformation, as it evolves to manage unprecedented climate and population-related challenges.
“British Water and its members are at the forefront of the drive to deliver positive change and I am proud to be able to help them navigate this journey. I am passionate about what we do and keen to ensure that British water engineers, scientists, planners, managers, economists and companies play their part in developing increasingly more sustainable and resilient water management fit for the future.”
Other key appointments announced at the AGM were Rachel Lewis as UK Forum chair and Tom Williams as International Forum chair. Rachel is joint owner and director of IQ Engineers and was formerly vice-chair of the UK Forum.
She said: “It has been a pleasure using my business experience to support fellow water industry suppliers through the UK Forum. I am proud to be able to increase that support by taking on the role of chair.
“The work of the UK Forum in enabling members to connect with contacts, explore opportunities for collaboration and share best practice is of huge value. I look forward to building on what has already been achieved in helping members grow, innovate and share their expertise.”
Williams is chief executive of Enebio and has been British Water’s USA export mentor for 10 years, as well as vice-chair of the International Forum.
He said: “I passionately believe that British Water members are the future for UK international business. What a privilege to be at the helm as International Forum chair, as we connect and collaborate with water’s leading global players.”
British Water chief executive Lila Thompson said: “I’d like to congratulate Mark, Rachel and Tom on their appointments. Their skills and knowledge already bring huge value to the support we offer the British Water community and I look forward to working even more closely with them in the months and years ahead.
“On behalf of the British Water board and management team, I would also like to thank Chris Loughlin for his dedication and guidance since becoming chair in 2016. Chris has seen us through some difficult times, not least the covid pandemic, and his contribution to British Water and the entire sector has been exceptional.”
British Water’s UK Forum supports members with an interest in the UK municipal and industrial market. The forum meets twice a year to review the water market, hear updates from leading industry figures and identify key challenges to be taken forward by British Water.
The International Forum enables members to connect with leading players in the global water industry. Services include access to business mentors, market briefings and businesses development meetings with key buyers.