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Affinity Water is launching a major drive to involve customers in its service and water resource planning.
It says joint action by water companies and their customers is critical to keep the taps flowing in future.
Affinity Water is launching its campaign Let’s Talk Water to engage with stakeholders and customers within the communities they supply.
As part of the campaign, Affinity Water is encouraging customers to use a new website www.talkwater.co.uk to respond to key questions about their water use, metering and the service they receive from the company. A printed questionnaire will also allow responses to be sent by mail.
Under the campaign title: "Your community, your say, our future"” Affinity Water is highlighting the importance of working in partnership with customers to conserve scarce water resources and ensure that growing demand from an expanding population can be met, while coping with increasingly extreme weather conditions.
Affinity Water CEO Richard Bienfait told Heart: "We want to be the leading community focused water company, understanding the local needs of our three regions and ensuring that our service reflects the priorities of our customers.
While our water resources for this year are fine, we need to plan in detail for a more challenging future with increasing population growth and where increasingly erratic weather patterns could lead to more frequent periods of drought. Our services will remain resilient through our plans to ensure our customers have sufficient, high quality water, with the least disruption, whilst providing value for money."
Affinity Water plans are based on a twin track approach in which major investment in maintaining essential infrastructure is teamed with greatly improved water savings and enhanced water efficiency, particularly in the company’s Central Region, coupled with best use of existing and new water resources.
Options being put forward in the Draft Water Resources Management Plan include:
- A drive to reduce leakage significantly, saving 20 million litres per day by 2020
- Major capital investment in water resources, water treatment plants and the distribution network in the five years 2015-2020
- Compulsory metering of all Central Region domestic customers by 2020, following the successful introduction of compulsory metering in the company’s Southeast Region
- Water efficiency initiatives allowing customers to save money on both water and energy bills
- Upgrades allowing the company to deal more effectively with droughts
- Working more closely with other water companies to maximise the use of scarce water resources
- Catchment management, working with community partners to reduce pollution
These initiatives mean Affinity Water will be able to also meet new environmental targets to reduce the water taken from sources in its Central and Southeast Regions by 77 million litres per day, around 6% of current resources. This will improve the condition of a number of important local Chalk streams.
Affinity Water says customers in its Central Region use on average 168 litres per person per day, one of the highest figures in the UK. Customers in the company’s fully metered Southeast region use only 134 litres, while customers in its East Region use only 115 litres.
Head of Water Resources Mike Pocock said the company recognised the need to reduce leakage further and believed that metering was a fair way to pay for water as it encourages the prudent use of a scarce resource.
Affinity Water has published a Strategic Direction Statement and a Draft Water Resources Management Plan (WRMP) covering the next 25 years together with a Business Plan for the 5 years from 2015-2020. Customers will be able to comment on plans in a consultation running over the summer.
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