Anglian Water (AW) supplies water and sewage treatment services to large parts of Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Essex. Every five years, AW produces a Water Resources Management Plan which predicts demand over the next 25 years, and how it can be met. The firm is currently consulting on the new plan (WRMP24), and seeks customers’ opinions. If you are a customer, you can respond to the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs about the consultation before the deadline of 29 March.
AW foresees several issues which will impact seriously on water availability over the next 25 years. These include:
- Climate change: hotter, drier summers and more frequent droughts will affect supply for tap water.
- Environmental protection: taking less water from the environment in river abstraction is crucial but increasingly challenging.
- Population growth: Eastern England has had the highest growth rates in the UK since the 2011 census. This will continue, with approaching a million more people expected by 2050.
To meet requirements, AW is considering strategies such as:
- Demand management measures, including leakage reduction, compulsory water meters and encouraging more careful use of water.
- Two new reservoirs, in the Fens and in South Lincolnshire.
- Other methods such as water reuse, desalination and transfers.
The AW document has more details. The consultation asks, for example, if you would prioritise new reservoirs or prefer demand management. Do you agree with a phased approach to reducing abstraction, and do you support compulsory metering?
You can email or write to DEFRA (Water Resources Management Plan, Water Services, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Seacole 3rd Floor, 2 Marsham Street, London SW1P 4DF) before 29 March with your responses to AW’s questions, as well as any general feedback on the plan. AW will review stakeholder comments and issue a revised draft WRMP24 later this year.