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12 January 23

Affinity Water says: help us take action to resolve the environmental challenges facing the water industry including leaks

  • Affinity Water Draft Water Resources Management Plan consultation ends 20th February 2023
  • Customers and Stakeholders are asked to give their feedback
  • Plans to reduce leakage by 50 per cent from 2040 and beyond
  • Working in collaboration with other companies on similar plans for the Water Resources in the South-East and East

Affinity Water is asking its customers and stakeholders to “have a say” in how they would like the Company to plan for its water supplies in the short and longer terms with the challenges that an increasing population and climate change present.

The Draft Water Resources Management Plan 2024 sets out the Company’s roadmap to provide a reliable, resilient, sustainable, efficient, and affordable water supply to its customers between 2025 and 2075. It highlights the challenges it will face and how it intends to maintain the balance between water supply and demand, while protecting the environment.

Without action – the area Affinity Water supplies could face a shortfall of up to 449 million litres a day by 2050.

Why publish the plan now?

The Plan covers topics such as reducing customer demand; tackling leakage; and its metering programme. The Plan addresses:

  • Reducing leakage
  • Adopting and installing different metering technologies
  • Helping customers to reduce their water consumption
  • Working with business customers and retailers to reduce their water consumption
  • Government interventions to reduce water consumption such as white goods labelling and building regulations for new builds
  • Considering temporary options to reduce water usage in times of significant drought
  • New investment to bring water in from outside of the region through the Grand Union Canal

Ellie Powers, Affinity Water’s Head of Water Resources and Environment explained: “We want people to respond to the publication of our draft Plan and tell us what they think. This will help us to shape our final Plan, and we will take into account all the feedback we receive but there is only a month to go.

“The public cares deeply about the problem of leakage and the plan sets out how we intend to continue with mains renewal to reach a 50 per cent leakage reduction in 2040 and beyond while keeping costs and disruption as minimal as possible. During the December 2022 cold snap our Teams repaired hundreds of leaks across our region and the public saw how hard they were working to restore water supplies. We hope it will prompt them to join in our consultation and help us resolve some of the challenges the industry faces.

“There’s never been a more important time to plan for the future of water resources in the Affinity Water region and across the South and East more widely. We know that 65% of the drinking water we supply to the public comes from the Chalk aquifer, the same aquifer that our precious Chalk streams rely on for their flow. Affinity Water’s regions are home to around 10 per cent of the UK’s Chalk streams, as globally rare habitat and we know how concerned our customers and stakeholders are to preserve them and protect the environment.

“The eight questions set out in the Plan for our customers and stakeholders to answer point to where in the report the related information can be found. We’ve really tried to make it accessible to all individuals and groups of concerned people and as simple as possible. That’s why all eight questions are on one page”.

How to give feedback

The Plan gives a full page of eight easy to answer questions and says those who respond will be told the outcome of the consultation which ends on 20th February 2023.

Affinity Water will be publishing its final WRMP in Autumn 2023 and that will then lead to the publication in October 2023 of its business plan for 2025 to 2030 including setting out the immediate investments needed in water resources.

The plan can be found here: https://affinitywater.uk.engagementhq.com/wrmp

Responses can be submitted online, by email, or by post:

Online: via the web form containing the consultation questions on our Affinity Water Engagement HQ website

By email: water.resources@defra.gsi.gov.uk (Note: please include Affinity Water in the email subject field)

By post: (WRMP Consultation) Defra Water Resources, Seacole 3rd Floor, 2 Marsham Street, London, SW1P 4DF

Working in collaboration with others WRSE and WRE

The consultation will feed into the wider plans being drawn up by the industry across the South and East in the form of the WRSE (Water Resources South East) and WRE (Water Resources East) which are also publishing their respective plans for consultation and asking for feedback over a similar time frame.

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