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21/01/2021

Anglian Water seeks to secure future water supplies

Words: Laura Edgar
Water / iStock-582280690

Anglian Water has unveiled an ‘ambitious programme’ to address concerns about a water deficit in the East of England alongside a planned delivery of 175,000 homes.

The water and recycling services provider for the East of England has highlighted that it operates in the “driest and most environmentally sensitive” region of the UK, receiving a third less rainfall that anywhere – but must meet demands posed by a total projected housing delivery of 175,000 units by 2025.

If this is not solved, the region will face a water deficit of 30 million litres by then.

Anglian Water plans to design and construct up to 500 kilometres of interconnecting water pipelines across the region and to deliver the scheme in five years. Water will be moved from areas of surplus in north Lincolnshire to areas of deficit in the south and east of the region.

The company states the scheme will be the “biggest water infrastructure project in generations”. The overall aim is to make the East of England resilient to drought.

James Crompton, director of Anglian Water’s strategic pipeline alliance, which has been set up to deliver this scheme, said: “This strategic pipeline programme is a significant part of our planned investment in the region over the next five years, which will begin to tackle those challenges and secure customer supplies well into the future.

“Our work will make it possible to reduce the amount of water taken from the environment, as well as strengthening resilience by reducing the number of homes and businesses which rely on a single water source.”

Despite its scale, the scheme is not classed as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) because the pipelines will deliver potable water, rather than raw water. The project team will work with the local authorities along the proposed route (see map) “to understand local circumstances to inform planning applications”.

Planning lead for the programme, Natalie Durney-Knight, said: “As a linear infrastructure project, each section is as critical as the last. We are using the latest digital tools to support our environmental assessments, design delivery and stakeholder engagement to help planning officers and communities to understand what we are seeking to achieve and why.  

“While the majority of the pipelines will be underground, they will have significant planning considerations. It’s certainly a very different and interesting scheme for the planning officers to get involved in.”

Image credit | iStock | Anglian Water

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