Open Water programme delivery body Market Operator Services Ltd (MOSL) has selected global technology provider CGI to design, build and operate a central market system to support the introduction of competitive retail water and sewerage services for England's 1.2 million non-household water customers in April 2017. A major constituent of the Water Act 2014, the competitive water market aims to encourage innovation, efficiency, resilience and sustainability that will benefit both water operators and customers.

The new water market being introduced by the UK Government's Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and regulator Ofwat will enable business, charity and public sector customers in England to choose their water and sewerage supplier. Scotland introduced competition in the sector in 2008 - a world first - also supported by CGI's central market system.

CGI's system will underpin MOSL's central market operating system (CMOS) to facilitate interaction among retailers and wholesalers. CGI will also host and operate the CMOS system on its secure commercial cloud. The five-year contract for CGI is valued at approximately £15 million. 

As part of the contract, CGI has partnered with IT services company Bridgeall, who already work with them in Scotland. to deliver a sub-system that will calculate the primary charges for water and waste water services and allocate those charges to the relevant wholesalers and retailers.

"This is a very exciting time for the water industry," said Tara McGeehan, Vice-President, Energy & Utilities for CGI in the UK. "Competition for non-household customers will create new business opportunities for many operators. At the same time, water market competition will help to drive innovation, as well as offer customers improved service at lower cost."