Water companies to plan 25 years in advance
Water companies must now balance supply and demand on a quarter-century scale, after a law that makes 25-year water resource plans compulsory came into force on April 1st.The new law also subjects the plans to public consultation, giving customers a say on how supply and demand are to be matched in the long term and an insight into the costs involved.
"It is right that customers should have a say in how water resources are managed in their area, which is why I am pleased the changes we introduced in the Water Act now mean the public have to be consulted before plans are finalised," said environment minister Ian Pearson.
"The plans will describe how each company aims to secure a sustainable supply-demand balance for the public water supply over the next 25 years.
"It is essential that this includes an appraisal of the major challenges ahead from climate change, population growth and housing demand," he said.
The first public consultations should be held in April 2008, and finalised resource management plans published by July - August 2009, he said.
Plans will be reviewed annually and updated every 5 years, and may include recommendations on compulsory metering.
More information on the resource management plan law can be found on the Environment Agency website.