Professor Ian Barker is Water Policy International Ltd’s founder and Managing Director. With over 35 years’ experience in the water sector he identified the need for an independent consultancy able to cover the spectrum from policy formulation through to practical, integrated water management solutions. And for an independent, authoritative voice on water policy and strategy in the UK and internationally.
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Ian has worked within the UK water industry since before its privatisation in 1989, when he opted for a career with the environmental regulator, rather than with one of the privatised companies. Since then, in a range of senior national roles, he worked to ensure that the water companies (and others) could deliver environmental protection and improvement, whilst still reconciling their wider responsibilities.
At the Environment Agency he was responsible for water management and regulation across England and Wales.With responsibility also for fisheries, aquatic biodiversity and land management Ian was able to develop a fully integrated approach to water management to deliver the ecosystem services needed by society and the economy. He had overall responsibility for setting water companies’ environment investment programmes totalling £1 billion per annum, and scrutinising and challenging their water resource management plans for supply security.
A strong advocate for the need for innovative, integrated solutions Water Policy International challenges the wisdom of applying today’s solutions to tomorrow’s problems. With increasing uncertainty over the impact of climate change, population growth and rising demand for water services the need increasingly is for flexible, resilient and sustainable solutions.
Ian is a Visiting Professor at the University of Exeter Centre for Water Systems; Vice-President Environment, Fellow and Board member of the Institute of Water; and a non-Executive Director of the Water Industry Forum.