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Plan highlights the 12 unique challenges facing Southern Water’s wastewater network – and how we can tackle them

Southern Water has launched its first ever 25-year Drainage and Wastewater Management Plan (DWMP), which sets out how billions of pounds of investment could be spent to improve the way we capture and treat wastewater.

Southern Water has launched its first ever 25-year Drainage and Wastewater Management Plan (DWMP), which sets out how billions of pounds of investment could be spent to improve the way we capture and treat wastewater.   

By using evidence, data and modelling insights to assess risks to customers and the environment, a total of 12 key challenges have been identified, including many customers will already be familiar with, such as climate change, population growth and affordability. 

This long-term plan, running from 2025 to 2050, then outlines the spending needed – totalling £7.7bn - to fully manage and reduce these risks, by improving the reliability and resilience of the network, and treating wastewater to even higher standards.

This would result in fewer pollution incidents, storm overflows, and sewer blockages which can cause flooding of communities and the environment.  

We will do this by: 

  • working in partnership and through collaborations with others to create greener communities 
  • increasing the use of nature-based solutions 
  • making sure our wastewater treatment works, pumping stations and storm overflows work as they are meant to and can withstand more frequent extreme weather conditions 
  • innovating and adopting new technologies that reduce the impacts on the environment and the costs to our customers.  

Lawrence Gosden, Southern Water’s CEO, said:

“This plan marks an important change in our approach to planning, thinking bigger and bolder over the longer-term. To do this we worked with 75 organisations and listened to around 200 people, with the shared aim of protecting and enhancing our precious environment and providing a more resilient network for years to come.

“We know we need to improve how we collect, treat and recycle wastewater. That is why we are already investing heavily in our network, £2bn between 2020 and 2025 or £1,000 per household, and this plan will help us to direct spending where it is needed most in the decades to come.

“As always, we will work closely with our customers and partners to ensure our spending plans are appropriate and well thought out, carefully balancing getting things done quickly and keeping customer bills as low as possible by moving at a pace that is acceptable to both our communities and the regulator.“ 

We will keep our customers updated throughout the length of this plan on the actions we are taking, what we have delivered and where we are investing.  

To read the report, visit our dedicated webpage.