Thames Water predicts 1bn water shortfall without new projects to meet demand
Thames Water predicts it will need to secure an extra 1bn litres of water every day for customers to meet rising demand for population growth and climate change.
Predicted regional water demand is set to increase, with the company supplying around 2.6bn litres of water to customers across London and the Thames Valley.
It has warned that without further supplies, Thames Water will be unable to protect households from the growing risk of drought and environmental challenges.
The UK’s largest water supplier’s gloomy predictions follow the unveiling of its draft plan to ensure secure water supplies over the next 50 years.
The ‘Water Resources Management Plan’ is reviewed every five years, and is open to consultation from local residents.
The consultation period will run for fourteen weeks until 21 March 2023.
Thames Water proposes to invest up to £13bn between 2025 and 2050 to meet household water needs.
It has set out multiple options to build in future resilience, including a new reservoir in Oxfordshire and schemes to share water across the South East including a new water transfer from the River Severn.
Water shortages contributed to Thames Water imposing a hosepipe ban this summer, and also contributed to dozens of residents being left with dry taps for days in Northend, Buckinghamshire during the heatwave in July.
An estimated 2.4bn litres of water is being lost every day across the UK because of leaky pipes, with Thames Water revealing a quarter of its water supplies are lost through the domestic network every day.
Thames Water has routinely been in the crosshairs of regulators over its failings to tackle sewage leaks and invest properly in infrastructure.
Last month Ofwat revealed it will have to hand back over £50m to its customers in time for next year’s water bills – the biggest payout in the water sector.
The watchdog also named Thames Water as one of the five worst performing suppliers operationally, having failed to spend its investment allocation properly.
It has also opened an enforcement case with the Environment Agency against the firm amid reports of unauthorised sewage dumping.
Nevil Muncaster, strategic resources director at Thames Water, said: “Our plan sets out how we will meet the water resource challenge in the future through a combination of fixing leaks more rapidly, making the way that we use water more efficient and by investment in new infrastructure to meet future needs.