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26 August 21

Designing our future together

Today, we are publishing our refreshed Strategic Direction Statement, in which we set out our strategic vision and ambition for the next 25 years. We have an enormous opportunity to radically change the services we provide and the way we provide them, along with the opportunity to become truly sustainable, particularly through our commitment to ending unsustainable abstraction from the ground beneath the chalk streams in our area. But the challenges are considerable, are growing and require a very different approach. The impacts of climate change are growing and climatologists are finding that the planet is reaching tipping points that will have major impacts in our corner of the world. Major housing growth presents challenges too, if houses are not water neutral. And as the Covid pandemic has shown, new risks lurk over the horizon. We are also very conscious that there is also major inequality in our region and bills must be affordable. To deliver on the opportunities and to address new risks we will need to accelerate the work we are doing with our communities, which we have started on demand management.

To create our Strategic Direction Statement we imagined the future in 2050 and considered various scenarios looking at how the world could evolve with carbon emissions, climate change, population growth, set within the framework of future regulations and government policies. We then took those scenarios and we met with regulators, government bodies, communities, board members and employees and together imagined what the world would look like in 2050 under each of the scenarios. Our stakeholders and customers told us that we needed to be bold, and we needed to act fast as there is a lot to do to provide resilience and prepare for the future both in terms of clean affordable water for all and to protect the environment we all enjoy.

This document is the result of that work, and we’ll explore this further in a workshop with our stakeholders in Autumn 2021, where we’ll map out the next concrete steps we take, starting with preparing our business plan at PR24.

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