Have your say on the future of water in our region

Graphic stating "Tomorrow's water today's challenge"
Across England, consultations into the future of the nation’s water supply have been launched this week with members of the public encouraged to give their views.

The climate emergency, population growth and increased urbanisation are putting unprecedented pressures on our environment and supply of water. It is estimated that over 4,000 million extra litres of water will be needed per day by 2050 to meet increased demand and improve the environment. That’s the equivalent of 1,600 Olympic swimming pools!

Five water resource groups including Water Resources West, of which we are a member, have separately set out the challenges faced by their regions and the actions needed to tackle them. The groups are made up of water companies, environmental groups, the Environment Agency, large water users, such as energy, and agriculture and other regional stakeholders.

The reports outline that half of the water needed to preserve supplies will come from water companies cutting leakage from pipes and reducing household consumption. Action on leakage and household consumption could reduce the amount taken from the environment by more than 2,000 million litres protecting chalk streams and other sensitive ecosystems.

A series of new measures are also detailed in the plans, ranging from large infrastructure projects, such as new reservoirs, to catchment and nature-based projects involving water companies and local environmental groups.

Specific supply initiatives include:
  • Strategic Transfers between Water Resources West and the South-East
  • New reservoirs in Havant, Hampshire; Blackstone, West Sussex and Abingdon, Oxfordshire and South Lincolnshire
  • Water recycling schemes in, for example, Littlehampton, West Sussex; Havant, Hampshire; Beckton, London; Peacehaven, East Sussex and Aylesford, Kent
  • The Future Fens project in the East, an integrated multi-benefit water management strategy in the Fens

“The future of our water supplies is foremost in the minds of water companies. Working with partners, they have set out ambitious plans to ensure we can meet the challenges of the coming decades and safeguard our water resources for future generations.

“We want as many people as possible to give their views to the consultation in their region. There is no doubting the scale of this challenge and we all have a role to play.”

Christine McGourty, Water UK Chief Executive

Regional water resources plan

Find out more about the emerging water resources plan for our area.

Posted: 20 January 2022