Work begins to secure future water supplies at Hundon and Great Wratting

08 March 2024


Anglian Water’s @one Alliance is due to begin work to install seven kilometres of new pipes between Hundon and Great Wratting and a build a new pumping station at Rede Reservoir.

Work will begin in March and is expected to finish at the end of this year. The project is designed to help secure resilient water supplies for residents and businesses in the Suffolk area, keeping taps running and toilets flushing for years to come.

The water company operates in the driest and flattest region of the UK, making it particularly vulnerable to extreme weather – including drought – as a result of climate change.

It may seem unbelievable, following one of the wettest winters on record, but without taking this action, the East of England would face a water deficit of 30 million litres a day by 2025 due to the combined impact of a rapidly growing population, climate change, and being located in the most water-scarce part of the UK. That’s a shortfall of 4,380 Olympic swimming pools of water, every year.

The work is part of Anglian Water’s Strategic Pipeline, which will in total create hundreds of kilometers of interconnecting pipelines, making it longer than the M6, and the largest water infrastructure project the UK has seen for a generation.

This long-term project will be crucial in addressing the predicted the ‘jaws of death’ future imbalance where demand for water greatly outstrips the available resources in the east of England. It will create the ability to move water in stages from wetter parts of north Lincolnshire to the south and east of the region, where it is less readily available. The new pipeline will also strengthen local resilience by reducing the number of homes and businesses which rely on a single water source. 

In November 2023, Anglian Water's Thriving East report revealed that Suffolk’s population is likely to rise by 6% by 2043, putting additional pressure on already limited water resources. The county will also see less rainfall and higher temperatures compared to the UK average – with all these factors contributing to a shortfall in water resources.

This new pipeline and pumping station are just one part of the company's plans to address the impact of climate change in Suffolk, with £234 million of additional investment proposed between 2025 and 2030 to build the county's resilience to climate change.

Becky Housden, Customer Experience Coordinator for the project, said: “We know that if we don’t act now, we won’t have enough water to go round for future generations. That’s why we’re already investing millions into laying hundreds of kilometres of new, interconnecting pipes, that will bring water from the wettest areas in the north of our region to the driest areas in the south and east.

“The project is one of the largest infrastructure projects in the UK and will help secure water supplies for future generations. Once complete, the new network will be longer than any UK motorway. The pipeline in the Hundon and Great Wratting area is an important part of this project, helping secure water supplies for residents for years to come.”

The pipeline between Hundon and Great Wratting is just one part of the new series of interconnecting pipes that will allow the company to move water more freely around the region to keep up with demand – the project began almost five years ago and will be fully operational by the end of the decade.

During the work, some traffic management will be needed to keep engineers, residents and road users safe. 

The team will be completing the first two road closures simultaneously, to reduce disruption to the local community and finish the work more quickly. These dates may be subject to change due to the nature of the work.

More information and full diversion routes are available here.