Ofwat has given the green light to continue investigation into three new reservoirs, which could supply water for millions of customers.
The reservoir proposals sit alongside nine other infrastructure projects being moved to the next stage of development as part of the regulator’s ongoing efforts to deliver more sustainable and resilient water supplies for the future.
The new reservoirs would be in Oxfordshire, Lincolnshire, and Cambridgeshire and could meet the needs of over 3 million customers. The overall package of 12 proposed solutions, from seven different water companies, also includes recycling water, and transferring water from where there is more to where there is less.
The programme of infrastructure investment is overseen by the Regulators Alliance for Progressing Infrastructure Development (RAPID) an alliance of water regulators in England and Wales with support from CCW, Natural England and Natural Resources Wales.
RAPID have been working for four years to bring forward major investment and infrastructure innovations to benefit customers and the environment.
These 12 schemes will now receive ring-fenced funding to further investigate the technical issues and environmental impacts to inform decision-making by companies on the best-value solutions.
The proposed solutions are now open for representations and there will be further opportunities for stakeholders to comment as the plans progress.
While RAPID has endorsed taking these plans to the next stage of development, the ultimate decisions will be taken through the Water Resources Management Planning (WRMP) process overseen by UK and Welsh Governments. The schemes will also need to obtain planning permission and other permits.