Southern Water unveils plan to tackle supply issues over next 25 years

AN INNOVATIVE plan to manage and improve our water system over the next 25 years has been unveiled.

Southern Water has this week issued its Water Resources Management Plan for 2015-2040.

Among the topics included are plans to extend the regional network in the south east, tackling leakage and promoting water efficiency.

A three month public consultation is now being carried out to find out what its customers think.

It will run until August 12 and the company plans to issue a statment of response by November 18.

The plan will then be updated and the final version published in early 2014.

It 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’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.

In the past, water companies have drawn up their plans based on droughts which have happened in the past.

Southern Water claims it is the only company to plan for a wider range of droughts which could happen in the future.

Meyrick Gough, the company’s 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.

“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.”

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