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Planning for sustainable water supplies


Water companies in England and Wales are now publishing draft water resource management plans for public comment. The plans explain how they will ensure sustainable water supplies over the next 25 years.

Water resource management plans

The companies have produced and continually updated water resource plans for nearly 10 years but this is the first time they will be subject to formal consultation.

Water UK welcomes the move and encourages anyone with an interest to get involved.

The plans are based on predictions of how much water will be needed to meet customer demand set against forecasts of water available for use. The results will vary across the country according to population and demographics.

Other factors which companies need to consider are:

 •  Changing lifestyles
 •  Impacts of climate change
 •  Impacts of legislation.

In areas where demand is expected to be greater than supply, company plans will show essential changes needed to maintain a secure water supply.

This is achieved by a combination of demand management measures and new resources, known as the 'twin track' approach. Options are selected according to customer preferences and a full economic, social and environmental assessment.

On the demand side, companies promote the efficient use of water through:

 •  Education
 •  Awareness campaigns
 •  Investment in infrastructure improvements
 •  Managing leakage
 •  Increasing use of meters.

Companies will enhance supply where necessary by:

 •  Planning new groundwater sources and above ground storage facilities including reservoirs
 •  Improving connections between different supply areas and companies
 •  Looking at new technologies.

Water resource management plans follow government legislation and guidelines set by the Environment Agency, to ensure that companies have sufficient water to supply the public whilst maintaining adequate water in the environment.

The consultation period for most companies will run from May to July, and final plans will be published in April 2009.

Environment Agency Water Resource Management Plans factsheet

Water resources planning
Water UK policy positions and briefings


For more information please contact:

Bruce Horton, Water Resources Adviser
020 7344 1817 or

Karen Coyle, Communication Adviser
020 7344 1809

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Water UK

Thu 28 Aug 2014, 14:05