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We beat our leakage target and reduced leakage by 15.8% in 2022/23 against a goal of 14%. Yes, you read that right! This is the largest percentage reduction in leakage of any UK water company. It's the lowest level of leakage we've ever had, as well as one of the toughest leak reduction targets in the water industry!

We're confident we’ll meet our commitment to reduce leakage by 20% by 2025. We're determined to build on our success from the 2015-2020 period in having the largest percentage reductions in leakage of all UK water companies.

How did we do it?

By using new innovative methods and technologies, like artificial intelligence and digital networks, to find and fix leaks faster than ever before. Our goal? To reduce leakage by 50% by 2050. 

How many leaks did you fix in 2022/23?

Our techs were busy and working hard, and they fixed approximately 19,800 leaks in 2022/23. We had a challenging year thanks to Mother Nature hitting us hard with two extreme weather events - record-breaking 40c temps in the summer and a freeze/thaw in December. These events made the ground move and put lots of pressure on our pipes, causing more leaks than usual. However, we didn’t let the weather beat us - we made sure to hit our goal of reducing leakage (and beat it too!)

Why is reducing leakage important? 

Over the next two decades, some parts of the UK are going to be feeling the heat (literally!) thanks to water shortages caused by population growth and the climate crisis getting worse. Plus, we've got to make sure we’re leaving more water in our environment so we can save our incredibly rare chalk streams.

The water industry is stepping up to the plate with a bunch of initiatives to meet the future demand for water, and one of the biggest things we're doing is tackling leakage. It's a top priority for us and we’re all working together to find and fix leaks using new techniques and innovative technology.

But that's not all - we've also got to reduce the demand for water and move it around our network more efficiently. All whilst bringing online new sources of water to make sure we've got enough for a long-term sustainable supply along with leaving more in the environment. And guess what? We're already on it! We're investing heavily in our network and even bringing in water from other areas so we can cut down on how much we take from chalk groundwater. We’d also like to thank the over 240,000 water-saving heroes who've signed up to Save our Streams and helped save over a billion litres of water.

What are your future plans? 

In autumn 2022, we released our draft 50-year action plan, aka our Water Resources Management Plan (WRMP). The public also had the opportunity to have their say on these plans. We're facing a lot of challenges when it comes to water, like more people, climate change, and a higher demand for water, which is putting pressure on our local environment and resources.

If we don't act soon, we could see a possible shortfall of 449 million litres a day by 2050! We produce a new WRMP every five years. This outlines the challenges we face in making sure we're providing reliable, resilient, sustainable, efficient, AND affordable water to you, our customers, between 2025 and 2075, while being mindful of the environment.

We're planning on cutting down leakage by 50% by the year 2050, but we need to do more than just that. The plan also outlines what else we’re going to do: 

  • Reducing leakage
  • Reducing the demand for water
  • Installing new meters
  • Building new infrastructure and new sources of water
  • Working with the government to implement policies that support saving water

Alongside our 50-year action plan, we're producing five-year business plans in consultation with our customers, stakeholders, and regulators. Our most ambitious one yet is Our Business Plan 2025 - 2030, which focuses on our customer’s needs, improving our network and water resource resilience, taking care of the environment, and working with our communities.

We know these investments will put pressure on our customer’s bills. But don't worry - we're working hard to make sure we have support available for customers to help keep bills affordable. So stay tuned - the final plan will be submitted to Ofwat (our regulator) in autumn 2023 and we expect to hear draft determinations on the plan from them in spring 2024.

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