On Air Now
Heart's Feel Good Weekend with Yasmin Evans 12pm - 4pm
3 September 2018, 16:15 | Updated: 3 September 2018, 16:19
Anglian Water has announced plans for one of the biggest investments the East of England region has ever seen.
Anglian Water's business plan covers the five year period from 2020-2025 and sets out a massive £6.5billion investment programme making it one of the largest investments the region has ever seen.
£367 million of that will be for Essex alone.
One of the fastest growing regions- and often referred to as the 'bread basket' of the UK due to its key role in food production - the East of England plays an important role in the prosperity of the UK as a whole. On top of this, the region receives only two thirds of the national average rainfall. These things combined make for a significant challenge around managing water resources for the future - and the need for a bigger, more ambitious plan than ever before.
CEO Peter Simpson comments: "This is the most ambitious plan we've put forward yet with stretching goals that will see us push the frontier in many areas, like leakage, resilience and catchment management, and it's the biggest investment we've ever proposed. We provide an essential public service, so it's imperative our business responds to customer challenge. Thousands of customers have helped shape the plan - they told us what matters to them most, we've taken that on board and created a plan which reflects those priorities.
"The 'Beast from the East' and this summer's heat wave are the kind of extreme weather challenges we'll see more of in the future as a result of global climate change. The plan we've proposed, and the millions of pounds of investment within will tackle these challenges head on to ensure that, despite the likelihood of lower levels of rainfall in the future, there are plentiful supplies of safe, quality water for our growing population.
"Importantly, our plans will deliver this with only a very slight increase in bills- less than 1 per cent over the whole five years with average bills at the end of the period the same as at the start. However, we recognise that for some customers even this miniscule increase is a challenge which is why we're planning to help on average 475,000 customers every year with one of the most comprehensive support packages in the industry.
"Our plan proposes to accommodate all of this, and crucially, it will deliver this while protecting the environment, something that we agree with our customers is of paramount importance. We're confident it's the right plan for our customers and our region."
The proposal for the £6.5billion investment programme includes:
" Reducing leakage by a further 22 per cent, with an investment of £240m which would make Anglian Water a world leader in leakage, as well as retaining its leakage crown in the UK too
" A Water Resources Management Plan totalling £630m, nearly eight times larger than the last period which will remove the risk of water restrictions for all customers - even during a severe drought
" Halving the average length of any interruptions to supply - despite an already leading score
" Completely eliminating serious pollution incidents
" £783m to support environment through the delivery of the Water Industry National Environment Programme (WINEP), expenditure that is more than double the last period
" £650m invested to enable sustainable growth and allow for more than 200,000 new homes to be built in the region by 2025, through improvements to water and water recycling networks
" £40m to protect drinking water quality through catchment management solutions that safeguard water in the natural environment.
Peter continues: "We're really confident our plan reflects what customers care about most and their guidance was clear: they expect us to act and invest now to improve the resilience of the region, not wait until costs may need to be higher to meet the challenge. It's the right plan for our customers, and the right plan for the region both for today and for tomorrow."