Welcome to the Winter edition of Water & Sewerage Journal, as always offering our readers in the water and wastewater industry a varied range of informative and stimulating articles. The expert articles in this issue range from hydrology to streetworks, and from ultraviolet disinfection to telematics.

Continuing our series of articles on sludge treatment, we are delighted to include features focussing on two contrasting aspects of the process – energy generation (page 25) and land application (page 29) – from Chris Jones at Northumbrian Water and Tim Evans on behalf of CIWEM respectively. Also, Thames Water shares its latest innovations in dealing with stormwater on page 15, John Brown looks at 21st century control rooms (page 59) and Kevin Luff explains the role of value and risk management in the water industry (page 33). We also sum up the latest developments in the control of fats, oils and grease in the sewer network in a review of British Water’s FOG conference at Cranfield University on page 40. Other articles look at geographic information systems (page 45), acoustic leak detection (page 65) and tackling skills shortages (page 41).

I write this just after the Water 2015 conference, having heard the water minister Rory Stewart speak with praise and reassurance for the industry in the face of concern over market reform. "Carry on; you're doing a good job," he said, while introducing some of the changes ahead, including abstraction reform. Leaving no room for complacency, the day finished with sharp insight into the backbone of the industry – debt and finance – from credit rating analysts Moody’s. It seems Ofwat is considering an indexation change from RPI to CPI, which would have repercussions for several water companies and cause concern for those financing them. Another idea floated with financing in mind was that of separating sewerage from water supply, though it was acknowledged that this would probably not tie in with existing debt agreements. Elsewhere, the industry is trying to tally the cost of meeting the stringent 2020 water quality demands of the EU’s Water Framework Directive with keeping customer bills down. All in all, there are some major changes afoot, all of which need to be paid for.

Thank you very much indeed to our authors for their contributions, and to our advertisers for their support. Whether you are reading the print magazine, the ebook at www.waterjournal.co.uk or via the news portal www.eaem.co.uk, we hope you enjoy reading the magazine, and welcome your feedback.