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Climate Change

A key challenge for us is supplying water to a growing population, while meeting the challenges of leaving more water in the environment and less predictable rainfall - associated with changing weather patterns.

As a community-focused water company, we have a responsibility to adapt to climate change and reduce our own carbon emissions, and have outlined these commitments in our Environment Policy.

How we are adapting to Climate Change

We have worked hard to put appropriate measures in place to ensure we can effectively manage the future uncertainties climate change may bring. Since 2010 these have included:

  • Improved resilience against extreme weather events through large scale investment in flood defence work at 35 of our highest priority sites
  • Reassessment of our Drought Management Plan
  • Assessment of potential increased water storage options
  • Learning lessons from extreme weather events, both floods and droughts and including them in our procedures
  • Continuation of our extensive catchment management programme, working with communities to address fertiliser and pesticide peak concentrations, to minimise future pollution risks

Our future key actions to address climate change are outlined in our latest Climate Change Adaptation Report.

How we are reducing its carbon emissions?

We measure our performance annually as we recognise that we are a large user of energy. 

This energy is used to: lift water from rivers and underground aquifers, for treatment processes needed to ensure the water we supply is ‘wholesome’, to move water around our network and to pressurise the water for our customers’ use. We also use energy to service our offices and depots and for driving our vehicles.

Our Business Plan 2015 to 2020 sets out our approach to energy management in which we forecast to reduce our energy demand by 4% in the next five years. We will do this in a number of ways including:

  • Operating to a Water Resources Management Plan that will decrease the amount of water we need to supply over the next few years, even though the population we supply is growing
  • Operating our catchment programme to reduce pollution and therefore reduce energy intensive treatment processes
  • Implementing energy saving opportunities identified following energy audits of our buildings
  • Reducing our vehicle fleet’s emissions through the optimisation of routes and reduction in vehicle emissions
  • Monitoring the energy performance of our systems to ensure energy costs and consumption are reduced
  • Proactively optimising the performance of our local water sources, to ensure water transfers across our network are minimised
  • Monitoring and reporting on our carbon emissions annually, so we know where to focus our efforts

Investing in reducing our energy usage provides the best value for money to reduce costs and emissions. Our Carbon emissions will also fall due to the large scale decarbonisation of the UK’s power supply.

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