South West Water customers have until midnight next Monday (April 30) to have their say on the company's business proposals for the period 2020-2025.
A major reduction in leakage, faster response times to water supply incidents, 100% compliance with wastewater standards and significant investment to prevent pollution are among the key ‘next steps’ being outlined in the ‘WaterFuture: Proposals and Choices 2020-25’ document, which is the subject of a public consultation which launched in mid-March.
For each customer who takes part in the consultation South West Water will donate £2* to WaterAid.
The £1bn proposed investment programme - which will support more than 6000 jobs in the regional economy - has already been informed by the largest programme of customer research and engagement in South West Water’s history. Over the past two years the company has been carrying out region-wide focus groups and surveying in addition to online engagement in order to establish customers’ priority areas.
The feedback received during the consultation will be reflected in the company’s final Business Plan, which will be submitted to Ofwat (the water industry’s economic regulator) in September this year as part of the industry’s five-yearly ‘Price Review’.
Some of the other key activities and investments outlined in the proposals include:
a further 15% reduction in leakage
replacement and upgrade of key water treatment facility in Bournemouth
investment to maintain near-perfect drinking water quality
further reductions in internal and external sewer flooding
increasing the number of people assisted through affordability and support initiatives
ongoing investment to help protect the region’s bathing water quality
increasing the use of digital channels to provide even more opportunities to tailor and improve our customer services
ongoing investment in catchment management schemes - which protect raw water quality in the landscape and are delivered in collaboration with farmers, landowners, wildlife trusts and our national park authority partners
investment in ‘smart networks’ - which use advanced monitoring and control systems to help pre-empt any issues on the network
expansion of the company’s award-winning apprenticeship scheme.
Stephen Bird, Managing Director of South West Water said:
“The proposals we have set out will deliver improvements in the areas that matter most to our customers, meet increasing legislative requirements and ensure we protect the natural environment, while keeping prices as low as possible.
"Clearly, we must continue to invest in order to maintain and improve the water and wastewater services so critical to lives and businesses in the region while making sure we can meet future challenges such as climate change and population growth.
"To achieve this, we are committed to innovating; making the most of new technologies and ways of working in order to work even more efficiently and sustainably. The proposals we have published were directly informed by the conversations we have had with customers so far but before we finalise our plans it is important we get as much up to date feedback as possible. I would encourage everyone to ‘get into water’ and tell us what they think.”
The proposals can be viewed online at: www.southwestwater.co.uk/waterfuture. Customers can comment via an online survey, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or writing to FREEPOST WATERFUTURE. The consultation will close at midnight on April 30 2018.
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