Study of the New Appointment and Variations (NAV) market

In December 2016, Ofwat commissioned Frontier Economics (in association with law firm, Addleshaw Goddard) to conduct a study to examine the functioning of the New Appointment and Variations (NAV) market.

The NAV market was established in 1991 but has had limited impact, with only some modest development since the Cave review in 2009. NAVs represent competition ‘for the market’, i.e. replacing the incumbent undertaker, on a site-specific basis, for the onsite services (and sometimes for the entire value chain providing water and/or wastewater services. It has typically emerged as an option for providing new infrastructure and services for new housing and mixed developments.
The objectives of this study are to assist Ofwat in its future policy development by


  • reviewing how the market is operating;
  • identifying the extent to which any factors currently act to prevent, distort or restrict effective competition; and
  • setting out options to address any such issues.

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