Anglian Water is embarking on a huge £630million investment programme for the financial year ahead. The largest investment ever planned for a single year will be spent across the entire East of England, which is the driest and one of the fastest-growing parts of the country.
The funds will be ploughed into areas of work specifically aimed at improving river quality, moving further towards the goal of net zero carbon emissions and preparing the region to meet the urgent challenges of climate change and population growth.
Anglian Water has often highlighted the future challenges of water scarcity facing the East of England. The company’s largest ever five-year business plan, which began in 2020, outlined ground-breaking schemes specifically designed to tackle this challenge. The proposals were wholeheartedly endorsed by customers.
Alongside a focus on tackling these challenges, the company will also continue to invest heavily in maintaining and improving its network, providing top quality drinking water and delivering excellent customer service as well as fulfilling its company purpose – to bring environmental and social prosperity to the region.
This is year will see various resilience and community-led projects continue, including:
£59million to begin the first stages of the region’s biggest water infrastructure project for a generation, creating hundreds of kilometres of new interconnecting pipelines and associated infrastructure to move water around the region wherever and whenever needed. This is part of an ambitious new investment in resilience to reduce abstraction from environmentally sensitive areas, keep taps running and minimise the impacts of future droughts. Boots on the ground will see the first sections of pipework laid between Ancaster and Lincoln.
£30million will be spent on the continuation of the company’s programme to roll out hundreds of thousands of upgraded water meters across the region, helping customers to understand their water usage and identifying leaks in customer’s homes to reduce demand for water in the future.
£133million to protect and enhance the natural environment by removing chemicals such as phosphates and ammonia from used water, and working with organisations like The Rivers Trusts on river restoration projects to protect some of the region’s unique chalk stream habitats. This work forms part of Anglian’s £800million Water Industry National Environment Programme (WINEP), which is larger than that of any other water company.
£19million on continuing to drive down leakage using the latest innovative solution including using satellite imagery and fibre optic technology to find and fix leaks.
The second half of Anglian’s £1million Positive Difference Fund will be allocated to charities and organisations on the front line dealing with the effects of Coronavirus in the community.
Peter Simpson, CEO for Anglian Water, said: “There is much for us to be positive about in planning for a better future for our region – this is the biggest investment we’ve ever made in a 12-month period and it comes after what has been an incredibly challenging time for everyone. Our customers can be reassured that every pound they’ve paid us so far has been invested in doing the right thing.
“We’ll continue working hard towards our goals for improving resilience against climate change, ensuring the highest standards of water quality, delivering industry leading performance on leakage, supporting local communities and protecting the environment we all share.
“By working very closely with Ofwat, the Environment Agency and the Drinking Water Inspectorate through the Regulator’s Alliance for Progressing Infrastructure Development (RAPID) we can bring forward proposals to address future water scarcity in our region. I believe that the collaborative approach this embodies can allow us to work with our regulators, fellow water companies, agriculture, energy and wider stakeholders to deliver the innovative solutions needed to address this challenge.”