Water company to pump £88m into improving network
Anglian Water is to invest £88m in Norfolk and Suffolk as it moves to head off drought fears and make the region more resilient to water shortages.
The utilities company will build a new £500m strategic grid of new pipes to move water more easily across its network, and is asking the public for their views.
The new grid will involve the installation of larger water mains to allow water to be diverted from one area to another to boost supplies when necessary.
The water company will pump £44m into Norfolk and £48m into Suffolk, but the bulk of its investment will be in Lincolnshire.
A consultation, which closes on June 1, has been launched into the group’s Water Resources Management Plan, which will see more than £500m invested from the start of 2020.
Of that £250m is proposed to roll out smart meters, tackle leakage and help customers become more water efficient.
Jean Spencer, Anglian Water’s director for growth and resilience, said: “Resilient, secure water resources are vital to communities, businesses and the environment alike, which is why we want our customers to have their say to ensure that our plans reflect their priorities.
“How we manage the water we have available now and in the future is really important.
“We already put less water into supply today than in 1989, despite a 34% increase in the number of properties we serve. That’s because we’ve tackled leakage, and helped our customers become more water-efficient.
“One thing is certain, we will always need water. Continuing to manage the demand in the future will only be possible by working with our customers on being even more water-wise, stopping more leaks than ever before, and thinking about how the water industry can work more collaboratively in the future.”
As part of the proposed plans Anglian Water would invest £50m to drive down leakage by a further 23% by 2025.
The investment has already been kick-started by a two-year programme, estimated to cost £65m, to protect East Anglia against water shortages – which has been paid for by a reduction in shareholder dividends.
As part of the investment Cambridgeshire will receive £81m and Essex will receive a further £24m.
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