What is the Water Resources Management Plan?
It is a statutory requirement that every five years water companies produce and publish a Water Resources Management Plan (WRMP). The WRMP should demonstrate that we have long term plans in place to accommodate the impacts of population growth, drought, our environmental obligations and climate change uncertainty in order to balance supply and demand. It
consists of several elements, including:
- A 25 year demand forecast. This describes how much water we think our customers will need in the future, considering factors such as climate change and population.
- A 25 year supply forecast. This illustrates how much water is available for use now and how this may change in the future. We consider the impact of climate change and potential reductions in the volume of water we can take from rivers and groundwater.
- An assessment of our options to meet demand, including leakage reduction and sustainable abstraction.
How is the plan made?
3. On our journey to the final plan we follow the statutory timetable set out by Defra and the EA, we hold regular consultations with our customers and stakeholders to identify potential solutions, and we consider the environmental impacts alongside affordability.
Our Water Resources Management Plan must demonstrate:
- Resilience to a range of risks – e.g. drought, loss of supplies.
- Flexibility and adaptability – the plan must be robust to changes to supply and demand forecasts in the future.
- Approach to climate change – drier summers and wetter winters make it harder to meet peak demand.
- Sustainable abstraction options – which don’t deplete our natural resources, or have a negative effect on biodiversity and our local river environment.
- Planned proactive work – proactive maintenance of our network to reduce amount of water wasted by leakage and optimise the use of our sources.
We published our draft Water Resources Management Plan (WRMP) for consultation in February 2018.
The draft WRMP and corresponding appendices can be found here.
We were pleased to receive comments on our draft WRMP from 22 different stakeholders. We have reviewed each of these comments and, where appropriate, we have used the feedback to update and improve our plan. While we have made some changes to our plan for publication in our final WRMP, we are confident that these do not materially alter the recommendations made in our draft WRMP.
In September 2018 we published a Statement of Response document which includes:
- A summary of the key messages we received from stakeholders
- An overview of the improvements we’ve made to our WRMP, both as a result of this feedback and from additional information becoming available.
- The impact of these changes on our plan.
- Supporting appendices A and B which provide more technical detail where required and include any updates to our WRMP narrative text.
- Supporting appendix C which lists all of the stakeholder comments that we received and shows how we have responded.
In February 2019 Defra wrote to us asking for further information in support of our Water Resources Management Plan and asked us to share this additional information with those stakeholders who commented on our draft WRMP. We responded to Defra in April 2019, and our response can be found here.
We now await confirmation from the Secretary of State that we have approval to publish our final WRMP. Once we receive this confirmation we will publish the full WRMP document along with accompanying data tables, incorporating the changes and additional points of detail described in our Statement of Response.
We expect to publish the final WRMP and accompanying information in summer 2019.
Our previous WRMP was published in 2014, you can view the full suite of supporting documents here.