Plans develop to protect future water supplies

First published in News Darlington and Stockton Times: Photograph of the Author by

WATER bosses have set out their vision for the expected challenges they face across Yorkshire over the next 25 years.

The main issues they must tackle include the combination of climate change and population growth and their impact on the county’s water reserves.

Yorkshire Water consulted with the Government, Environment Agency, Ofwat and 30,000 customers to produce its Water Resources Management Plan.

And its approval by the Department of Food, Environment and Rural Affairs – Defra - comes as the company kicks off its water efficiency campaign, Save A Little, Save A Lot, to help consumers use water wisely.

One of the main findings of Yorkshire Water’s research is that the expected additional 800,000 people living in the region by 2040, combined with the increasingly extreme weather conditions, could have an effect on supply in the space of just 15 years if no action at all is taken.

Water resource manager Clare Dunlop said: “Long-term, rigorous planning is key to anticipating the challenges we could face as a company so we can maintain a reliable water supply to our millions of customers.

“Our Water Resources Management Plan gives an insight into the preparations we’re already putting in place for the next 25 years to maintain the high standards we’ve set for ourselves. At the same time, we’d like to continue to ask customers to help us manage our resources by using their water wisely.”

The measures being taken to plan for the future include cutting leakage – which has already been cut by half over the last 20 years -by another 10m litres a day by 2020 and investing some £75m to replace 228km of mains over the same time frame.

Water bosses also plan to focus on at-risk areas – identifying those parts of the network and the areas of the region that are prone to flooding or pollution and addressing the problems.

However the company insists that despite the long-term planning and forecasting customers they still need customers to do their part by not wasting water.

And as part of the water efficiency campaign, customers will be eligible for a range of free water-saving devices – including tap aerators, shower timers and shower flow regulators.

Full details on water saving can be found at the Yorkshire Water website – yorkshirewater.com/save-water-and-money.aspx and a video featuring a family using the devices can be watched at youtube.com/watch?v=JpOcmT3xIyw

The full water resources management plan can be found at yorkshirewater.com/our-environment/water-resources/managing-water-resources.aspx

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