Company Name: With Water Consulting

Summary: Water resources and information technology solutions. With Water Consulting helps organisations successfully formulate and deliver their water projects or analyse and develop water strategies and policies.

The Product

With the objective to be the go-to people when you need to turn water policy and project into practical results, With Water Consulting believes that using best practice and incorporating new
technologies leads to the most effective solutions for water challenges. The business offers services related to water resources, including agricultural water management, both in the UK and internationally.

Better water management and irrigation practices are vital for agriculture because food production is by far the largest user of water, particularly in developing countries. In water-stressed parts of the world, the combination of growing populations, urbanisation, agricultural intensification and climate change are putting great pressure on water resources, so effective management and governance of these resources is critical.

The company’s wide client base covers donor organisations and other international agencies, governments, water companies and businesses. With Water Consulting’s services include:

  • Project formulation: including theory of change and log-frame
  • Project development and implementation
  • Project management: governance, status reporting, stakeholder management and KPIs
  • Data governance: information gathering, analysis and insights
  • Technical solution design: integrating bespoke and off-the- shelf software – often providing a means to implement the missing piece of the project puzzle
  • Research design
  • Policy analysis and development
  • Organising and facilitating stakeholder workshops

Agritech and the trend towards better data for water resource management and irrigation is critical for improving outcomes and achieving the many water and agriculture related Sustainable Development Goals (or in other words helping us to feed more people while ensuring natural resources are used sustainability).

While it is true to say that problems linked to water, whether they relate to access, quality, sanitation or food production, are often linked to governance issues, technology and data has a
fundamental role. With Water Consulting can help to support evidence-based policymaking, provide baselines against which progress can be measured and ensure that projects are designed
appropriately and run smoothly. Good data and agritech also help to increase transparency and serve as a foundation to engage stakeholders and encourage collaboration.

On working with Farm491:

Virginia says; “We are lucky that Farm491 is on our doorstep as we live in Cirencester. The enterprise hub is a fantastic facility for start-ups and provides a space for our business to grow. We are looking forward to joining in the various training and networking events.”

Main challenge of being an entrepreneur:

Virginia says that balancing project time with time needed to develop a pipeline of work is a challenge as well as the fear of going it alone and identifying which niche to aim for!

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Meet the Founders: Dr Virginia Hooper and Matt Newton-Lewis

With Water Consulting is founded by Virginia and Matt Newton-Lewis. Virginia is a consultant, researcher and project manager with experience in the United Kingdom, India, China and the MENA region. Her research and consultancy interests include water resources policy and agricultural water management. She has worked in international organisations, academia, the private sector and NGOs.

In 2015 she completed her PhD at the Water Security Research Centre, University of East Anglia, on agricultural-to-urban water transfers in India and China. She holds an MSc from the University of Oxford in Water Science, Policy and Management and an MSc. in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge.

Matt is a business and technical analyst with experience in Information Technology in a variety of industry sectors. He brings best practices from outside water resources projects. Matt holds a BSc in Computer Science/Software Engineering from Birmingham University and an MA in Film Studies from Oxford Brookes – should you ever want to talk movies with someone!