Water Resources - Strategic Resource Options (SROs)
Climate change and population growth is putting increasing pressure on the UK’s water resources. In less than 25 years a lack of water could limit growth, jobs and impact people’s everyday lives.
Water companies are developing plans to meet this challenge, such as reducing demand and tackling leakage, as well as developing new sources of water. At the same time, we need to make sure we protect the nature and wildlife that rely on the water systems which are the source of all our supplies.
Every 5 years we produce a Water Resources Management Plan, which you can see here. That sets out how we’re going to supply our customers with the 2.4billion litres of water needed every day.
But with increased pressure over the coming decades, we have a duty to explore all possible sources of water and no one water company can solve this on their own – we need to work together to make sure there is enough water in the future for all our customers, businesses and to protect the natural environment.
We’re working with various other water companies on a range of options called Strategic Resource Options (SROs). These are nation-wide options, but are in the very early stages and right now we’re concentrating on what’s possible and how we could deliver projects to help make sure everyone has enough water in the future.
Regulatory Alliance for Progressing Infrastructure Development (RAPID)
To support the progression of strategic options, the Regulatory Alliance for Progressing Infrastructure Development (RAPID) has been established by Ofwat to help accelerate the development of new water infrastructure. It seeks to improve regulation and remove barriers to help the water sector respond to long-term water resources challenges. RAPID is comprised of representatives from Ofwat, the Environment Agency and the Drinking Water Inspectorate. These are all our key regulators who make sure we do the right thing for our customers and the environment.
Development funding is available to us and the other water companies who are progressing strategic solutions through RAPID.
Options in progress
Severn Trent is working on the following options.
RAPID has published its draft decisions on the first four of the SROs on the Ofwat website.
All of the Severn Trent sponsored schemes that were submitted in July 2021 have been recommended for continuation to Gate 2. This means that work will now continue to develop each of the options in more detail. The UDVRE scheme has not yet been assessed.
Work throughout 2020-2025 will look at appropriate regulatory, technical and environmental aspects of each of the options. If the results of these investigations are favourable it will allow them to be considered as an option in future regional and water company Water Resource Management Plans. If the scheme progresses, it could bring many benefits to the region, including investment in water infrastructure, improvements for nature and creating skilled jobs.
Our Gate 2 reports were submitted to RAPID in November 2022 and we will now wait for approval to move each scheme to Gate 3.