As the 2017/18 financial year comes to a close, its that time of year again, when water utilities must start to preparing their drinking water management plan (DWQMP) annual report.
Viridis have had the opportunity to assist in the preparation of DWQMP annual reports, as well as consider them as part of the regulatory audit process. Based on our experience, here are the top things water service providers should be thinking about when putting together their annual report:
1. Be aware of the due date
The DWQMP annual report is due to the regulator 120 business days after the end of financial year. This year this falls on the 18 December 2018.
Since this falls on a slightly different date each year, it can be easy to get caught out, which may result in an non-compliance in your next regular audit.
2. Rushing the job
Having to complete a regulatory report in a short time can be very stressful, and may result in incorrectly reported information.
The root cause of inaccurately reported data in the regulatory annual reports appear to be more often than not a lack of resources such as staff and time.
Ensuring that you are on top of the deadline will help prevent this.
3. Data accessibility
Ensuring relevant data is accessible in an easy to use format is critical for the reporting process. Often data can be recorded by hand into a plant log book, meaning the person doing the reporting commonly has the unenviable task of entering hundrends of data points into an electronic spreadsheet in order to undertake statistical analysis and trending. The risk of human error when typing in water quality monitoring results are increased significantly in this circumstance.
We recommend putting in place a system where operational and verification monitoring data are transffered/recoreded into electronic formats in set intervals, eliminating the need to do a manual data dump at the end of year!
4. Have a plan (for your plan)
Developing a clear process for putting the annual report together is another common audit finding. We recommend that the water utility have a process for sorting relevant data, parameters to be reported, sites and calculation methodologies.
Since the report is a recurring requirement, having a documented system will save time in the long run, and further ensure that the reporting is robust, and can still contiue if there are staff turnovers.
For more information...
The drinking water supply regulator has published a guideline and report template, avaliable via the following links:
DWQMP Annual Report Template: