Innovative water plan

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An innovative plan on how freshwater-only supplier, South East Water, will protect the environment for the next 25 years is now open for people to comment on.

The draft 25-year environment plan is the first of its kind to be written by any water company and includes contributions from customers, employees and other environmental organisations.

The plan will set out how the drinking water-only company will limit its own impact on the environment from which it draws raw water to treat. It will also detail how it will improve the overall health of the environment and increase its resilience to the effects of drought, flooding and increasing demand for tap water.

Supplying drinking water to 2.2 million customers across the southeast, the company maintains 83 water treatment works and 9,000 miles of underground pipes, as well as 33 sites of special scientific interest, two local nature reserves, the Lullington Heath National Nature Reserve and numerous areas of outstanding Natural Beauty.

The water-only supplier also works with farmers, landowners and other water users to protect the quality and quantity of the rivers and underground aquifers which are used to produce an average of 520 million litres of tap water each day.

The company is now looking to expand the work of its in-house team of environmental experts to work with other local companies and individuals to improve the environment within a generation.

Emma Goddard, head of environment for South East Water, said: “Our environment is facing ever-increasing threats from issues such as climate change and population growth, but we know that making lasting, positive change takes a long time – that’s why we’re taking action in creating the water industry’s first 25-year environment plan.

“Because we also know that the pressures on the environment are constantly changing, we’ll review this plan at least every five years so we are continually looking ahead to the next quarter of a century.

“As a freshwater supply-only company, we rely on a clean and plentiful supply of water so it is crucial that we not only make sure our operations don’t negatively impact on the environment but that we also increase the environment’s resilience to the effects of climate change, such as drought and flooding.

“Just how we will do this is detailed in our draft 25-year environmental plan, which we are seeking feedback on as part of this public consultation.

“We are really keen to understand what the plan’s strengths are, as well as any areas of weakness, so I would encourage anyone interested to read our draft plan and have their say.”

The consultation runs until May 6.  To read the plan and have a say go to: https://getinvolvedsoutheastwater.uk.engagementhq.com/d25yp.

Image Credits: South East Water .

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