British water utilities want to have the following by 2030. Invest £96 billion in water and sewer infrastructure

Brytyjskie przedsiębiorstwa wodociągowe chcą do 2030 r. zainwestować 96 mld funtów w infrastrukturę wodno-kanalizacyjną

Water supply companies in England and Wales are planning an unprecedented investment to address storied pollution and water security problems. If the venture is successful, the UK’s water and sewage infrastructure is expected to receive £96 billion in support, the equivalent of more than 40 percent. All European investments in the sector.

Ambitious plans for 2025-2030

The proposed initiative is for the 2025-2030 planning period and represents an almost doubling of investment compared to the current period. Among other things, it provides for. Construction of 10 new retention reservoirs to secure the supply of water for the public. At the same time, water leakage is planned to be reduced by 25 percent. by 2030, securing the UK’s ranking among the five most efficient countries in Europe in this regard.

The upgraded water and sewage infrastructure is expected to reduce the number of leaks by 140,000. per year, which can be envisioned as water savings of 68,000. Olympic swimming pools. The implementation of this project, considered the most ambitious since the Victorian era, will include. on upgrading wastewater treatment plants and developing new natural stormwater management schemes. Also noteworthy are plans to develop technologies to prevent eutrophication. The advances are expected to eliminate millions of tons of phosphorus from British rivers.

However, the investment will not only benefit the water and sewage infrastructure. According to preliminary estimates, the implementation of all planned projects will entail the creation of 30,000. New jobs and 4,000. trainee positions. In total, this will mean a 50 percent increase in employment in the sector.

The financial aspect of the project

How are English and Welsh water companies going to finance investments of this scale? The answer, of course, is to increase water bills over the next 5-year period. In 2025. charges for water and sewerage services in England are set to rise by £7 a month, and by the end of 2030. By £13 over today’s prices.

At the same time, however, there are plans to significantly increase the number of households eligible for financial support to pay their bills. The gesture reflects the current economic situation of society and the rising cost of living. As many as 3.2 million farms are expected to receive support in the new period, 2 million more than currently. The new water and sewage infrastructure is therefore not expected to burden the most vulnerable part of the population.

Industry representatives emphasize that the plans were consulted with 1.6 million consumers and are the result of priorities established on that basis. These include, first and foremost, maintaining the highest quality drinking water for an ever-growing population, guaranteeing the security of its supply, and limiting the infiltration of wastewater into rivers and seas.

Neglected water and sewage infrastructure in the UK

Britain’s water and sewage sector was privatized in 1989, but this has not eliminated problems. On the contrary, in recent years many companies have come under a wave of harsh criticism over the release of wastewater, which has seriously polluted rivers and sea bathing areas. According to reports by regulator Ofwat for the period 2022-2023, only five of the monitored 17 companies have met their pollution incident reduction targets, while only half have succeeded in meeting their announced spill reductions.

According to analysts, outdated wastewater treatment plants, leaking facilities and wasteful stormwater management remain serious problems in British water management. On the other hand, as optimistic experts point out, thanks to the £200 million the UK’s water and sewage infrastructure has received over the past 30 years, for example, the number of top-rated beaches has managed to increase sevenfold.

What’s next?

The proposal by the English and Welsh entrepreneurs will now be considered by Ofwat. The Secretary of State for the State of the Union. The environment watchdog has already announced that it expects to rigorously review the submitted plans and take a full spectrum of regulatory actions if they are not flawless.

Ofwat is required to verify that the increase in bills is adequate for the planned activities. Acceptance of the project is contingent on the necessity of the expenditure and an acceptable price/quality ratio. If the new water and sewage infrastructure fails to meet its targets, bills will automatically be reduced.

Despite these strictures, the CEO of Water UK, the association of UK water companies, is optimistic: “These record investment proposals will safeguard our water supply in the face of climate change and a growing population.”

You can read about another significant project in the UK in the article: Havant Thicket Reservoir, the first major reservoir in the UK in more than 30 years.

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