Thames publishes 25 year plan

Thames Water has unveiled proposals outlining how it plans to ensure supply to its millions of customers for the next quarter of a century - without having an unacceptable impact on the environment.

All water companies in the UK are required to have an up-to-date Water Resources Management Plan and this Wednesday Thames published a draft of the plan which would carry it from 2010 to 2035.

The 800-page document looks at tackling leakage, promoting water metering and efficiency and advocates a more sensible approach to updating infrastructure.

It also outlines plans to build a new reservoir in Oxfordshire, use the naturally-occurring aquifer under South London for storage and fund research into re-use of grey water.

The company supplies water to millions of households and businesses in London and along the Thames Valley - more familiar to most Britons as the M4 corridor.

The launch of the draft plan marked the beginning of a 16-week public consultation period.

David Owens, chief executive of the company, said that while last summer's floods might have washed away memories of the preceding drought, it was inevitable that a growing population and changing climate would put pressure on water supplies, particularly in London, Swindon and parts of Oxfordshire.

"London actually gets less rainfall than Rome, Dallas or Istanbul and only about half as much as Sydney," he said.

"We're working hard to reduce the risk of hosepipe bans or more severe restrictions and making plans to ensure that we are able to provide enough water to meet future needs."

Sam Bond


| drought


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