Update from Southern Water - long term water resources and wastewater planning
Subject: Update from Southern Water - long term water resources and wastewater planning
As you may have seen, water companies across the country experienced increased demand over recent weeks. The impact of lockdown measures plus recent hot weather created peaks in demand, which in turn puts higher pressure on our networks. We're providing regular tips on how to save water on our twitter feed (@SouthernWater) and we'd be really grateful if you could share these with your followers to help us reach as many customers as possible.
Regional water resources planning
Meeting rising demand for water requires a joined up, regional approach to managing water resources. Southern Water, along with Thames Water, Affinity Water, Portsmouth Water, South East Water and SES are all members of Water Resources South East (WRSE)<https://www.wrse.org.uk/>. WRSE is developing a long-term regional resilience plan that will be used as a blueprint for future water supply investment by all six water companies across the South East.
As part of this work, WRSE recently published its Resilience Framework. This is the proposed methodology for assessing resilience throughout the development of the regional water resources management plan and will ultimately enable us to demonstrate the shift in resilience of the region's water supplies that the plan will deliver.
We're really keen to hear your views and a dedicated consultation site has been launched where you can access the documents, find out more about our approach and respond to our survey which is open until 3 July 2020 https://wrse.uk.engagementhq.com/resilience
WRSE is also holding a webinar on 18 June which you can register for on the site.
Drainage and wastewater planning
We've also started work on our new, long-term Drainage and Wastewater Management Plans (DWMPs). DWMPs provide us with an opportunity to plan for the future in a new way and ensure our drainage and wastewater systems are sustainable, robust and resilient to future pressures such as climate change and population growth.
We will be producing a DWMP for each catchment in our region and we want to work closely with all organisations that have interests in, and responsibilities for, drainage, flooding and protection of the environment as we plan, develop and deliver these plans.
Our CEO, Ian McAulay, has written to the Chairs and CEOs of local authorities, Internal Drainage Boards, Catchment Partnerships, plus regulators and neighbouring water companies to invite them to work with us. We are working towards a public consultation in summer 2022 with publication of final plans planned for early 2023. If you want to find out more please contact DWMP@southernwater.co.uk<mailto:DWMP@southernwater.co.uk>.
Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDs)
Managing surface water run-off can help protect homes from flooding and protect the environment. One way to do that is by using Sustainable Drainage Systems, known as SuDs. SuDs delay or reduce surface water run-off and have a number of key benefits:
- Provide habitat creation opportunities and increase the stock of Natural Capital
- Offer a lower cost and carbon solution when compared to the construction of conventional surface water sewers
- Return surface water to the local catchment
I am pleased to confirm that we intend to adopt SuDS designed in line with recently updated Water UK Sewerage Sector Guidance<https://www.water.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Water-UK-SuDS-brochure.pdf> and we will actively encourage the use of SUDs where these are appropriate.
We will keep you updated as our plans develop.
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