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Candover Drought Order Scheme

We've signed a legal agreement with the Environment Agency to protect the Test and Itchen catchment in Hampshire. As part of this, we’ve committed to a range of environmental projects totalling almost £9.5 million. The Candover Drought Relief Scheme is one of these projects.


Maintaining your water supplies in drought conditions

We held events last year to tell you how we would install a pipeline if we suffered a severe drought in Hampshire. The pipeline would transfer water from the Candover valley into the River Itchen.

We would like to remind you that this pipeline would only be used in a severe drought, and only after the Secretary of State has issued a Drought Order authorising its use.

You said, we listened

We listened to your feedback at our events and received a largely positive response to our revised plans to build most of the pipeline underground if it is ever required.

We have now decided how and where we would build the pipeline and will be presenting our planning application in early 2023.

Your feedback has also added to our desire to examine every potential environmental impact of the scheme and help us deliver positive net benefits to the area, such as biodiversity.

What happens next?

We will submit the planning application to Hampshire County Council and the South Downs National Park Authority.

The Authority and the Council will publish public notices in the Hampshire Chronicle to advertise the applications and will write to you and consultees to provide the opportunity to comment.

All comments on the applications must be submitted to the Authority and the Council, and not to Southern Water.

How will this affect me?

You don’t need to do anything if you are satisfied with what we have explained in this letter.

A review of any comments will take place before a decision is made. We anticipate that we will receive a decision in Spring 2023 at the earliest.

If the application is approved, and if we are in a drought at the time, or there is a risk of one developing, then we would be likely to start constructing the pipeline as soon as permission is granted. However, if a drought is not expected then we may wait before starting construction.

Providing you with Water for Life

It is important to emphasise to our customers that we do not want to secure water supplies by using this pipeline. We are committed to putting the well-being of the environment at the centre of the decisions we make and the services we deliver. Our Water for Life – Hampshire programme aims to strike that balance and ensure we help keep rivers and taps flowing, especially during a drought.

We are committed to our ambitious leakage reduction targets and providing long term water resources. We are considering options such as water recycling, and supply network improvements within our area. Further information and updates on progress can be found on our improvements in your area Hampshire page.

How do I find out more information?

If you have any queries or would like any further information at this time, please contact us on 0330 303 0368 and say you are ringing about Capital Projects quoting the reference 629221.