Water companies spend billions each year to protect and enhance the environment and to make sure they can provide water and wastewater services now and in the future. The water sector, and the UK overall, is facing a wide range of enormous and complex challenges and is working to secure the long-term resilience of water and sewerage supplies and services.
Climate change is bringing more volatile and extreme weather patterns. In just the past few years we have seen severe droughts, floods, and extremes of rainfall and cold weather. This has led to shortages and to too much water, sometimes both at once.
At the same time, environmental standards are getting even tougher, particularly around the quality of our rivers and bathing waters. This requires, for example, the highest standards of water treatment and well-maintained sewer networks.
Another big challenge facing many water companies is dealing with growth in population and housing. The UK's population is expected to rise by 10 million by the 2030s and another 10 million by around 2050.
Water UK has united industry knowledge in two key sector-wide projects, the Long Term Water Resources Planning Framework and the 21st Century Drainage Programme. These projects are helping the water sector to resolutely tackle these issues, and looking to ensure our industry protects our future environment by helping the sector to provide cleaner rivers, lakes and coastal waters, as well as fewer emissions for the benefit of people, wildlife and the wider environment.
Water UK is working across many different areas to ensure the UK water sector continues to work hard to ensure we are resilient against the future challenges.
Water companies are working to protect against growing drought risk.
Water UK worked with companies, regulators, academics and NGOs to create the Long Term Water Resources Planning Framework - a report that breaks new ground by deploying new modelling techniques and by looking 50 years ahead across the whole of England and Wales.