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How we are keeping water flowing

Glass of water

Every drop of water has its own history. Some flows almost directly into rivers, whereas some filters through soils into deep aquifers in a journey that can take up to 20,000 years. It’s a renewable resource, getting used over and over again.

But there are more of us now wanting to use each drop than ever before. So it’s vital that everyone understands just how precious water is and does their bit to use only what they really need.

In our dry corner of the UK, we’re parched in the summer and, if we are lucky, it’s wetter in the winter. We get a third less rain than anywhere else - hardly enough to make a splash.

The water that's available, after thirsty plants and evaporation and have taken their share, is barely a quarter of what fell out of the sky in the first place.

Which is why we don’t just rely on the region’s rivers and ground waters to supply you with water; we store huge amounts in our manmade reservoirs, so that there’s some for the not-so-rainy days.

But we’re not greedy and we don’t take it all. We work closely with the Environment Agency to look after what we have and make sure that the environment gets its fair share.

Average annual rainfall for the Anglian Region compared to that of England & Wales

We have to plan for the future – for a time when there will be more people, different weather patterns, warmer temperatures, and probably less rain.

Every five years we produce a Water Resources Management Plan, which describes how, for the next 25 years, we’ll cope with these challenges and still keep the balance between the water we want, and the water we’ve actually got.

Because water is such a vital part of the environment, our plans have been put under the microscope and checked out by an environmental assessment

Between May and August 2013 we consulted with a range of stakeholders on our draft Water Resources Management Plan. In July 2014 we were given direction to publish the Final WRMP for the period 2015-2040. Accompanying the Final WRMP is the Strategic Environmental Assessment report. Our Plan looks at sustainable ways of sharing resources which could provide a better alternative to developing new resources in our region, such as a new reservoir. We also identify where we need more water, and areas where we have water we may be able to trade. For further details please email us at: Supply/

We also have a Drought Plan, which shows what we’d do if there was a water shortage because of drought.

You can also find out about our plan to provide a sustainable alternative to traditional water treatment processes by trying to resolve water quality issues at source through catchment management.


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