Plans Published For Securing Water Supplies
Southern Water has published plans on how it's going to secure water supplies and cut leaks over the next 25 years.
Extending the regional network in the South East, investigating water re-use and further tackling leakage and promoting water efficiency are among their ideas.
The company has published its Water Resources Management Plan for 2015-2040 and is carrying out a three-month public consultation to find out what its customers think.
The plan sets out how the company proposes to ensure there is enough water for its two million household and business customers - whatever the weather.
The options also include schemes to work in partnership with farmers, landowners and rivers trust to help protect rivers and groundwater from pesticides in the future.
Southern Water says it's plan is 'based on an innovative new approach which will create a more resilient water supply network and reduce the likelihood of water restrictions, such as hosepipe bans'.
Meyrick Gough, Water Strategy Manager, said:
"During the past 12 months we have experienced both drought and floods and the Met Office is warning there may be more extremes of weather in the future.
"As our current water sources rely on rain during the winter to provide supplies for the rest of the year, it's vital we start planning now to meet these extremes and the challenges ahead.
"We engaged with more than 4,000 of our customers as we developed this plan to find out what they wanted and the type of schemes they wanted to see in the future.
"It was very clear they wanted a secure, reliable water supply which would not run out of water and they supported new schemes such as water-re-use which would stand up to long-term droughts in the future."
The plan also looks at how the company will meet challenges such as population and housing growth, the effects of climate change, new laws which will reduce the amount of water that can be taken from rivers and groundwater and rising energy costs.
Southern Water customers are invited to find out more about the plan and have their say at www.swhaveyoursay.co.uk/wrmp, where they can find a consultation document with a summary of the plan, maps showing the schemes in Sussex, Kent, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight and a short film.
There is also an online form which customers can fill in to give their feedback. All the responses will be sent to the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, which makes the final decisions on water company's plans.
Southern Water is donating £1 to international charity WaterAid for each individual response it receives during the public consultation.
The public consultation will run until August 12, 2013, and all feedback will be responded to in a Statement of Response, which will be published no later than November 18, 2013. The plan will then be updated and the final version published in early 2014.