Tips on procuring water in the public sector

Here’s what to keep in mind if you need to procure water for your organisation.
Procurement teams in the public sector will have seen a lot of additional requests to meet the needs of their organisations in a cost-efficient way in the last year, so here’s some advice to help with water spending and water saving.
It’s really important for organisations to show Best Value and efficiency when they’re looking at buying their water, but there are some key things to do.

Understand your portfolio of buildings and water use

It’s important to know which buildings your organisation owns, or is responsible for, the addresses of these, how much water they use over the course of a year and whether there are devices measuring water use such as Automatic Meter Reader data loggers (AMR).

Gathering Supply point Ids (SPIDs) numbers and locating where the water meters are, if you’re able to, will also put you in a better place to see what water you use and when and where any issues may be, to protect your organisation from disruption and limit increases in future costs from leaks.

Get to know where larger savings opportunities could be

Real opportunities come through water efficiency activities and devices, which help the public sector to meet their environmental targets to reduce carbon emissions and save money.

These can include urinal controllers, sensor-controlled taps, water efficient showerheads and the savings from these – and larger measures – add up to a bigger saving – which potentially could be much more than on a new retail contract on its own.

Here’s some water-saving facts and figures:

Regular servicing and maintenance of taps, toilets and urinals – as well as any water efficiency devices you have – is also important - so you know they’re working properly and no water’s being wasted.

Follow the rules and requirements to make sure your organisation is compliant

Where a public sector organisation has to advertise their water procurement - and if your spend is over £25,000 then they will need to – then they can manage the tender process meeting the compliance requirements themselves, under the Public Contract Regulations 2015, or it’s much easier and less time-consuming to use a framework.

One of the newest is Pagabo’s national utilities framework covering water and wastewater, which is managed by Pagabo on behalf of Red Kite Learning Trust. The framework also covers Ancillary Services such as water efficiency, leak detection and repair as well as smart metering - installing Automatic Meter Reader (AMR) data loggers, which can be attached to water meters, with data accessible to public sector organisations through an AMR online smart portal.
By using an established Public Contract Regulations compliant framework you know the legal requirements will be met for your procurement needs. And frameworks have delivered significant savings for the public sector too.
There are a number of other frameworks that public sector organisations can use including LASER and Crown Commercial Service (CCS).

You can contact our expert Public Sector team here if you have any questions or need help with procurement and tenders.

Here’s more relevant blogs and information for you:

Find out how you can reduce the risks to your organisation - so sudden water interruption doesn’t cause issues.

See how data analysis has been harnessed to deliver results in this Government & Public Sector Journal online article here. 


Further notes


The latest Crown Commercial Service (CCS) framework, which started on 1 December 2020, is expected to save the public sector approximately £20 million.
The CCS supports the public sector to achieve maximum commercial value when procuring common goods and services. In 2019/20, CCS helped the public sector to achieve commercial benefits worth over £1bn - supporting world-class public services that offer best value for taxpayers. Crown Commercial Service (CCS) is an Executive Agency of the Cabinet Office, supporting the public sector to achieve maximum commercial value when procuring common goods and services.

To find out more about CCS, you can visit CCS's website here.

LASER is a wholly owned part of Kent County Council, under KCC’s Commercial Services umbrella. It was formed in 1989 and is now one of the largest energy and water Public Buying Organisations (PBOs) in the UK.

LASER’s frameworks are created to simplify procurement and save money for public bodies throughout the UK.

LASER’s water framework contains multiple suppliers who were successful in meeting the requirements of a tender. Public sector customers may select a supplier from the framework through a mini tender process.

In order to access the framework, please contact LASER at or call 01622 23 6613. Alternatively, you can visit LASER’s website here for more information.

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