James has worked professionally since 2000 as a consultant, innovator and leader in the urban drainage sector. He is a Chartered Water and Environment Manager (C.WEM), Chartered Engineer (CEng) and Fellow of the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM).
James’s experience in institutional, policy, and technology aspects of urban drainage planning with specialisms in risk management and visualisation, urban drainage hydraulic modelling, stakeholder management, collection systems, wet weather, flood risk, and pollution control all stand him in good stead for taking EMS’s Smart Wastewater division in the right direction.
James was elected to the group committee in 2009 where he has had several roles, leading growth in group membership as well as authoring the UDG Competency Framework, before becoming Junior Vice Chairman in 2019, and, in turn, the Vice Chairman in 2021.
He becomes Chair at a time of great scrutiny of the urban drainage sector, with the Environment Act and Defra’s Storm Overflow Reduction Plan putting pressure on water companies to invest a significant amount to improve Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) performance.
Speaking in advance of the conference James said, “It is a great honour to become Chairman of this exciting community of professionals, following in the footsteps of colleagues and friends. These next three years will see a change in how we think about, and invest in, our urban drainage systems and I want to make sure that UDG are at the forefront of the discussion and steering the strategy.”
He also emphasised the role that EMS technology can play in this; “EMS’s CENTAUR system is a perfect part of the adaptive planning toolkit to support the optimisation of overflow performance, providing quick wins now and also providing future-proofing as part of wider integrated solutions”.