Southern Water publishes 50-year water resources plan
Southern Water has published its Water Resources Management Plan which sets out the company's 50-year plan for ensuring water resilience in the south east.
An immediate challenge is faced in Hampshire where less water will be taken from the iconic chalk Test and Itchen river systems, especially when flows drop in summer or following a dry autumn and winter.
A 10-year £800 million plan will see a raft of new measures including a reservoir to be built in collaboration with Portsmouth Water.
In its supply area the company will add pipelines across the region so it can move water about and a link to Bournemouth Water for a bulk supply. Southern is also looking at building desalination plants and recycling water in the future.
"Environment Agency chief executive Sir James Bevan made a speech this spring where he spoke of the ‘jaws of death' for water- - climate change and population growth," says Nicholas Price, water resource planning manager at Southern Water. "Our analysis shows this is no exaggeration - the jaws of death are closing and when the teeth meet, it is this part of the country that will feel the bite."
"With the UN's COP25 meeting on climate change taking place in Madrid this week, the UN general secretary is warning that the point of no return is approaching. Everything we do to our environment has to be considered in that light - local problems are part of a global problem," he added.
Price says that there is no single solution to ensuring tap water keeps flowing. "Staying resilient is about behaviour change and looking after the resources we currently have as much as it is about us building new resources. We are committing to cutting leakage in half by 2050 and we are asking our customers to use water wisely. Every drop humans take out from the environment means less for nature," he says.
Solutions such as desalination and water recycling plants may also be necessary in other parts of the region.
Says Price: "There is no magic bullet for securing new water supplies - every alternative has its own environmental impacts. The most important thing is working together - us, our customers and neighbouring water companies must collaborate to ensure the environment thrives and taps keep flowing."
You can view the full plan here.
- Southern Water completes installation of 450,000 meters Southern Water's five-year programme to install nearly 450,000 meters across Kent, Sussex, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight... Read More >
- Environment Agency uses 'yellow fish' to fight FOG The Environment Agency is using yellow fish to alert people on the Kent coast to what happens when they pour fat, oils or... Read More >
- Freezing weather leads to widespread bursts and leaks Several water companies across the UK have urged customers to limit usage after the recent adverse weather caused a spate... Read More >
- Reaching net carbon zero In summer 2019, the water industry committed to reach net carbon zero by 2030. This is a very ambitious aim and... Read More >
- Ensuring future water supplies The water sector is entering a period of greater focus on managing water resources as it seeks to ensure future supplies.... Read More >
- Integrated catchment management James Knightbridge of Mott MacDonald examines what systems operation means in terms of integrated catchment management and... Read More >
- Rewarding excellence WWT content director Alec Peachey looks ahead to next year's Water Industry Awards. Read More >
- Achieving zero interruptions and leakage Rik Gunderson, UK utility director at Software AG, looks ahead to WWT's Water Industry Innovation Conference. Read More >