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Not everyone realises what procurement is or how important it is to large organisations.  In short, procurement is the process of finding suppliers and awarding contracts in a fair, transparent and competitive manner that ensures NI Water gets good value for money.  Procurement directly helps NI Water achieve its annual budgets and cost reduction targets.  Procurement indirectly helps NI Water achieve all its targets by appointing good quality suppliers to work with the company.

NI Water spends around £235m a year on goods, services and capital works, the majority of which is spent with companies based in Northern Ireland.  For every £1 invested by NI Water, the knock-on effect in the local economy is almost double. 

As you would expect, every year NI Water invests in new treatment works, upgrading existing works and fixing or replacing the 41,950km of water and sewer mains.   Per kilometre, NI Water has one of the lowest costs to replace water mains of any UK water company.

You probably didn’t expect NI Water to be the largest consumer of electricity in Northern Ireland, accounting for around 3% of all the electricity used.  A large part of the electricity used is to pump water from our treatment works through the mains to homes, schools, hospitals and businesses.  Almost 40% of the electricity we buy from the grid is green and we’ve built a large solar farm to generate electricity to supply one of our largest water treatment works as well as roof mounted solar panels on many of our buildings.  We’re also aiming to award contracts to renewable energy generators to further increase the amount of green energy we buy and reduce NI Water’s carbon footprint. 

Whilst it’s obvious that every business needs to buy IT equipment and services, you probably didn’t realise that NI Water has its own radio telemetry network so that information from our sites can be relayed back to our control centre, which monitors and resolves any alarms.  This means NI Water buys specialised radio transmission equipment and pays a licence to Ofcom.  NI Water sells space on its radio masts to other organisations, especially where mobile phone signals are weak. 

The Procurement Teams in NI Water are responsible for buying all the goods, services and capital works to deliver drinking water to taps across Northern Ireland and treat the sewage.  NI Water’s procurement teams are ISO 9001 registered and are a designated Centre of Procurement Expertise (CoPE) within Northern Ireland’s public sector, which means NI Water is allowed to do its own procurement.  To retain its CoPE status, NI Water undergoes a rigorous, independent accreditation process every 4 years.  All NI Water’s tenders are advertised on the eTendersNI portal [].

NI Water’s procurement teams have won several awards, more information about which can be found on the Awards section of the page.  

NI Water uses terms and conditions of contract which are appropriate for the contract.  For capital works and repair and maintenance contracts, the NEC 4 suite is used.  For goods and services, NI Water has standard terms and conditions, which will shortly be replaced by a more tailored suite comprising goods, services, ICT and professional services. 

There are three procurement teams with different responsibilities who work together to deliver excellent procurement services to NI Water and to NI Water’s suppliers.


Operational Procurement
Operational Procurement buys all the goods and services to keep the company running from electricity, chemicals, vehicles, and repair and maintenance services to the customer call centre, insurance brokerage, marketing, security guarding and inspection of buoys marking long sea outfalls. 

With the largest range of contracts to award each year, Operational Procurement is the largest of the three teams.  We are organised into categories so that each category manager understands NI Water’s requirements and the suppliers who can meet those requirements.  The categories managed by the team are:

  • Energy
  • Repair & maintenance
  • Customer services
  • Chemicals
  • Mechanical & electrical
  • Analytical services
  • Fleet
  • Professional services
  • Waste management
  • ICT
  • Facilities management
  • Stores


As well as tendering contracts, Operational Procurement collaborates with the Construction and Procurement Delivery organisation and uses national frameworks.

Operational Procurement leads the Procurement teams in retaining ISO 9001 registration and is also responsible for the purchase to pay process so that purchase orders are sent to suppliers. 

To contact Operational Procurement, email us at sourcing[AT]niwater[DOT]com or write to us at:

NI Water
Operational Procurement
Finance & Regulation Block
Westland House
40 Old Westland Road
Belfast BT14 6TE


Integrated Procurement
The Integrated Procurement Team (IPT) sits within the Finance & Regulation Directorate but is affiliated to the Integrated Capital Delivery Function, which sets within the Asset Delivery Directorate.

The primary role of IPT is to inform and support the development of the Capital Works Procurement & Delivery Strategy and embed effective supply chain management practice in NI Water, across the entire supply chain.

A key pillar of this strategy is the design, implementation, alignment and integration of strategic supply frameworks with construction contracts / frameworks established with Tier 1 Contractors / Delivery Partners to support the efficient delivery of Capital Investment over price control periods.

IPT is responsible for identifying, scoping and establishing new commercial arrangements for the supply and delivery of a wide range of strategic plant, equipment, components and materials to meet NI Water’s capital investment and operational needs more efficiently and cost effectively.


Key Accountabilities:

Key accountabilities include – NIW Board, CIP, EC and the Directors of F&R, Asset Delivery and CSDD.


Principal Activities:

The principal activities include the following:

  • Promoting, developing and supporting the capital works procurement and delivery strategy and supply chain management practice in NI Water.
  • Determining the scope of framework / contract coverage in relation to capital works requirements.
  • Designing and implementing new processes for improving the effectiveness of capital procurement and supply chain practice.
  • Stakeholder relationship management and development, including advice, support, collaboration and continuous improvement in procurement / supply chain practice. 
  • Developing sourcing strategies and category management plans for capital works requirements.
  • Conducting market research and analysis to develop market intelligence regarding capacity and capability relative to capital investment priorities.
  • Developing tender and contract documentation for tendering and awarding contracts / frameworks to meet capital investment needs, in compliance with the Utilities Contracts Regulations and established procurement policies, procedures and governance arrangements.
  • Developing new commercial pricing models based on whole life costing principles, including provision for rebates, extended warranties.
  • Tender administration, evaluation and negotiation of supplier offers and establishing new commercial arrangements with preferred suppliers at better cost and terms to NI Water.
  • Framework management post award, including monitoring and reporting contractor / supplier performance.
  • Effective management and resolution of contractual issues and contractor / supplier disputes.
  • Supplier relationship management and development
  • Continuous improvement in supply chain performance to reduce cost and improve value.
  • Framework evaluation, review and retendering of existing and new capital works requirements, incorporating and sharing lessons learned.

To contact Integrated Procurement, email us at sourcing[AT]niwater[DOT]com or write to us at
NI Water
Integrated Procurement
Asset Delivery Block
Westland House
40 Old Westland Road
Belfast BT14 6TE


Capital Works Procurement
The Capital Programme Management Office (CPMO) within the Asset Delivery Directorate is responsible for managing the Capital Investment Works Programme. The programme is delivered through frameworks or competitive tendering using the NEC suite of contracts.

To contact Capital Works Procurement,  write to us at:

NI Water
Capital Works Procurement
Asset Delivery Block
Westland House
40 Old Westland Road
Belfast BT14 6TE

The Procurement team works with the business to deliver the strategic priorities in our strategy: 

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