Severn Trent given go ahead to bring forward £95m investment to accelerate environmental benefits
Severn Trent has welcomed news from Defra, Ofwat and the Environment Agency that is has given the green light to accelerate the delivery of three key environmental projects.
The company is looking to bring forward an investment of £95m on projects originally due to start in 2025 that aim to tackle industry challenges such as water scarcity and river health.
The accelerated initiative approach agreed by Defra, Ofwat and Environment Agency is one of four ways companies can accelerate future investment and now will see around £1.6bn invested across the industry earlier than planned.
The fast-tracked projects will build on Severn Trent’s current five-year £2bn investment cycle, as well as it’s £566m Green Recovery programme and industry leading Get River Positive commitments where it’s recognised as environmental leaders by the Environment Agency, having been awarded its top four-star EPA rating three years in a row.
The projects announced include the early delivery of:
- The rollout of an additional 250,000 smart meters that will help customers reduce demand and tackle leakage,
- A project that will look to help increase reservoir capacity to provide more water resilience across the region, and
- Installing enhanced monitoring at 80 sewage treatment works that will support river health.
Liv Garfield, Severn Trent CEO said: “The accelerated initiative agreed by Defra, Ofwat and Environment Agency is one we welcome, and allows us to progress with an additional £95m worth of investment to go even further in tackling topics we know are important not only to us, but our customers too.
“With challenges the industry is facing such as drought, it’s vital we can start sooner rather than later and not wait until the start of the next five year cycle in 2025 to get ahead. While we’re already making huge investments when it comes to the environment and river health, we’re absolutely always committed to doing more, as proven by our ambitious Green Recovery programme. And bringing forward investment allows us to do just that, and will see us going even further and faster in delivering our plans.
“Not only will our environment and rivers benefit sooner, but getting ahead allows us to gain valuable insight that can help shape future investment ahead of our next five year investment cycle.
“As well as the £95m investment, we also have the opportunity to bring forward additional investment that relates to our water resources management plan and our statutory environment programme. We are exploring which of these schemes are best suited to acceleration, allowing even more environmental, and customer benefits to be made sooner than planned.”
On top its current five year, £2bn investment plans, it is also in the middle of delivering it’s £566m Green Recovery programme, the biggest and most ambitious in the industry that is set to be complete by 2025.
The sector leading projects, some of which have never been seen in the UK before, will look to bring big environmental benefits while tackling challenges brought on by climate change and population growth, while using nature based solutions such as sustainable urban drainage to alleviate flooding, and wetlands to pre-treat water in a scheme set to bolster water resilience.
It also announced last year it’s Get River Positive commitments, a set of industry leading pledges that are set to improve river quality where it’s looking to invest around £100m every year on improving river health, further cementing Severn Trent’s role as industry leading when it comes to caring for the environment. The company has committed through its pledges that it will cause no harm to rivers by 2030 through its operations, as well creating more opportunities for communities to enjoy its regions rivers which includes helping to move stretches or river towards bathing quality.