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The Water Bidding Market

The Bidding Market is a new route into Yorkshire Water for third party providers offering solutions to help us meet our future water resource needs.

We’re interested in both supply and demand side solutions where they provide a more efficient or effective way to achieve our company objectives and targets. This could encompass water resource solutions, including water trades, and leakage or demand management technology or services.

To make it easier for companies to understand how they can work with us to provide these services, the following sections of our webpage set out our objectives around water resources generally. The sections on Water Supply, Leakage and Demand Management also highlight specific areas which may benefit from a third-party solution. This insight is in addition to Ofwat’s requirements around published market information.

View this on our Water Resources Market Information page.

This page also provides detail on how to offer one of these solutions, how your bid will be received and managed and what to expect from us as your bid progresses.

As advocates of markets, we are currently reviewing our approach and the content shared with the market. If you have feedback, or there is additional information that you believe would enable third parties to better support us, please let us know by writing to watermarkets@yorkshirewater.co.uk.

Our ambitions for water resources

In line with our big goal around Water Supply, Yorkshire Water’s ambition for water resources is to be a resilient company with a surplus of water, and over the longer term to move to be an exporter of supplies to others in the industry that are water stressed. We plan to achieve this by working with other providers to improve performance, introduce innovation and ultimately increase both resilience and efficiency.

More specifically we are working to achieve three performance commitments directly associated with the Bidding Market, and others which could be indirectly affected. Third party providers should consider how their solutions can be developed to support these company targets.

More on our performance commitments.

We are inviting bids from third parties offering the following services:

Where you come in

By providing the above information on our business needs we aim to encourage third parties to present us with potential solutions to both short and long-term water resource issues. These solutions may be either in relation to new supplies, or to new demand management activities including leakage:

  • A ‘supply side’ option is a bid that will increase the water we have available to supply to customers.
  • A ‘demand side’ option is a scheme that would reduce the volume of water we are required to put into supply.


For all third party bids we receive through this route, we will then be looking to assess whether:

  • The option is a feasible option, i.e. it is technically deliverable and meets our needs as set out above.
  • The option is an alternative to our current available options to meet future water resource issues or is a better value option than our current systems and services.


This assessment will use the same criteria that we use for assessing feasibility of water resource and demand reduction options in our WRMP. The process is designed to ensure the criteria for awarding bids is transparent, that all third parties receive equal, non-discriminatory treatment and that the measures we use are proportionate to the objectives we aim to achieve.

Solutions meeting these assessment criteria may feed into our Water Resource Management Plan; the water industry’s 5-year planning process which sets out investment requirements for securing water supplies for each planning period. Solutions will be considered alongside alternative supply and demand solutions to our future business needs.

Alternatively, a more immediate solution may result in the initiation of a procurement process.
The process we will use for assessing the bids is described in our Bid Assessment Framework, below, to ensure transparency and provide confidence that we will take a consistent and fair approach in assessing third party bids relative to our own in-house supply and demand options.

We have also set out our thoughts on what common requests or requirements you may expect to receive from us after submitting a bid, either through our procurement process or specifically for a water resource, leakage or demand management bid. We recognise that there may be many different types of potential bids, covering a wide range of different durations and complexities and this is meant to give an indication only.

If you’d like to trade water resources with us, we recommend that you read our Trading and Procurement Code. This Code defines the policies, principles and requirements that will be applied when third parties enter a water trading agreement with Yorkshire Water.

Water Resource Planning

All water companies have a statutory duty to produce water resource management plans and drought plans, which set out how we will manage our water supplies over the long term and during extreme dry weather events. These plans are revised every five years. Yorkshire Water is also part of the Water Resources North regional group. We are working with Northumbrian Water, Hartlepool Water and other sectors with an interest in water resources in Yorkshire and the North East of England to produce our first regional water resources plan. At the same time, we will be revising our Water Resource Management Plan and Drought Plan.

Further information on water resource planning can be found here. Over the next few years we will be consulting customers and stakeholder to understand their views on managing water resources in our region. We will be reviewing growth and risks that could impact on our water supply and demand in the future. It’s possible we may identify new risks on a company or regional scale, and this could drive additional investment in supply or demand solutions.

Our water resource planning webpage will be updated with information on all three plans as we develop them. Any bids we receive will be considered alongside our in-house options for meeting future water resource planning objectives. We will be carrying out an options appraisal for our Water Resource Management Plan 2024 and consulting on our plan in 2022. We will consider any bids submitted in time to include in our options appraisal.

Making a bid

For third parties that believe they have an efficient solution which could contribute to our company goals for water resources, you can get in touch with us by submitting a bid.

To get started, we’ll need some basic information from you about the solution proposed which you should submit via the applicable Bidding Form to watermarkets@yorkshirewater.co.uk (see Document Library below). In completing a bid submission form, we ask bidders to provide as much information as is available to them. We understand that bidders will not necessarily have all the information requested and we will base our evaluation on the information that is available. If a solution looks as though it may be feasible and an alternative/improved option we will, wherever practical, work with the bidder to collect further information.

Detail of the procurement process following submission of a bid is provided in our Bid Assessment Framework, above.

Bids through this route will be received for a water resource, demand management or leakage reduction solutions. Please do not submit proposals outside the scope of the bidding market as they will not be reviewed or passed elsewhere.