How £400m pipeline will stop our taps running dry

Anglian Water pipeline

Work under way on one of the northern sections of the new pipeline - Credit: Tim George

A £400m pipeline stretching from north Lincolnshire to Suffolk will help stop our taps running dry.

Anglian Water says East Anglia could face a water shortfall of 30m litres a day by 2025.

Some 175,000 new homes are set to be built across what is the driest region in the country.

The water firm, which has 6m customers, is laying 500km of pipes to bring water from the wetter north-east to Ipswich.

It has applied for planning permission to build a section stretching from Bexwell, near Downham Market, to Bury St Edmunds.

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The 70km pipeline will include five new pumping stations and three drinking water storage tanks. It will also help safeguard supplies across Norfolk.

housing development stock pic

Fewer homes than expected will need to be built in West Norfolk, says a new local plan about to go out to consultation - Credit: Chris Bishop

James Crompton, strategic pipeline alliance director at Anglian Water,  said: “The strategic pipeline is vital in addressing the predicted future imbalance where demand for water greatly outstrips the available resources in the east of England.

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"It is the most fundamental challenge Anglian Water faces in its region, due to the combined impact of a rapidly growing population, climate change and being located in the most water-scarce part of the UK. 

“With 175,000 new homes to be built in the next five years. It is vital we ensure we have resilient infrastructure in place to support local authorities in delivering their Local Plans. We look forward to working with all of the local councils on developing these proposals.”

The pipeline will  bypass sensitive ecological sites including Hilgay Fen County Wildlife Site and various other sites where environmental surveys have  found protected species like badgers, water voles, bats and newts.

Anglian Water pipeline

The proposed route of the pipeline, which will run from Lincolnshire to Ipswich via Norfolk - Credit: Chris Bishop

Mr Crompton said: "Our commitment to protecting the environment is as vital as securing customer supplies. This project will help meet our targets to reduce the amount of water we take from the environment by 84 million litres a day, but our infrastructure needs to be sustainable too."

Anglian Water says customers' bills will not go up as a result of the pipeline. It said the project was included in a five year business plan agreed with the regulator OFWAT.

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