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Thames Water sets out plan to supply water to nation for next 50 years

Thames Water has set out a plan to provide a secure and sustainable water supply for the next 50 years.

On Thursday, August 31, the water utility company submitted a revised draft water resource management plan after its forecasts revealed London and the Thames Valley will need an extra one billion litres of water every day – enough to fill almost 400 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

Its decision follows an extensive public consultation between December 2022 and March 2023, where the company reviewed and listened to customers, local communities and stakeholder groups, with their feedback shaping the plans.

Thames Water publishes revised draft Water Resource Management Plan
Thames Water publishes revised draft Water Resource Management Plan

The company says the changes will need to be implemented for its customers by 2075 to account for climate change, an increasing population and to reduce the amount of water taken from rivers and chalk streams.

Thames Water has been working collaboratively with Water Resources South East and neighbouring water companies to coordinate a regional response to the challenge.

Strategic resources director at Thames Water, Nevil Muncaster, said: “The scale of the water resource challenge means we must make bold decisions and act now to ensure we have the water we need for generations to come.

“Given this, we must find ways to adapt to our changing climate, supply water to more people as our population grows and reduce the amount of water we take from our rivers and chalk streams to protect the environment.”

He continued: “Investing in and building new infrastructure is integral to the plan and we’re calling on the Government to support ambitious projects, including a new reservoir in Oxfordshire and a river abstraction and water recycling scheme in West London.”

Organisational director at WRSE, Lee Dance, added: “Our revised regional plan has been shaped by feedback from the public and sets out the investment needed to meet the predicted water shortfall across the South East.

“Delivery of the plan is essential to address the impact of climate change and population growth while making water supplies more resilient to drought and enabling more water to be left in the region’s rivers and streams.”

Thames Water also says it has committed to more than halve leakage from both its and customers’ pipes by 2050.

But the most significant change to its plan is the Government’s demand reduction requirements.

The company has committed to reduce daily water usage of 110 litres per person by 2050 with current water usage at around 140 litres per person – which is says will be very challenging.

A new river abstraction on the River Thames close to Teddington Weir supported by water recycling also has a completion date of 2033.

This scheme would be used in response to drought.

Visit https://thames-wrmp.co.uk/ to find out more about the revised draft water resources management plan and to read the company’s statement of response.

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