Since privatisation in 1989, the water industry has invested more than £90 billion to improve infrastructure and services. In doing so, it has dramatically reduced its impact on the environment while continuing to deliver high quality, affordable drinking water.
But the next twenty years won’t be quite as straightforward. Population growth, climate change and an ever more urgent need to protect the fragile ecosystems of our rivers and lakes, means all water companies must plan to ensure a sufficient water supply for generations to come. This is especially true in the densely populated area of south east England.
There are different ways to ensure a sufficient water supply for the future, from the obvious – reducing leakage and encouraging customers to use water more efficiently – to the more ambitious, such as building new reservoirs and pipelines to move water from one region to another. What is essential is that the water companies and regulators in south east England work together to find innovative and affordable solutions for the long term that benefit all in society.