Water Transfers

Climate change and population growth is putting increasing pressure on the UK’s water resources. In less than 25 years a lack of water could limit growth, jobs and impact people’s everyday lives.

What are we doing

WRW are working with others to develop plans to meet this challenge, such as reducing demand and tackling leakage, as well as developing new sources of water. At the same time, we need to make sure we protect the nature and wildlife that rely on the water systems which are the source of all our water supplies.

But no one can solve this on their own – we need to work together to make sure there is enough water in the future for all of our customers, businesses and the natural environment.

One of the potential solutions is to transfer water between different areas of the country, taking water from areas where and when it is available and sharing it with areas where it isn’t. One such potential solution is the “Severn Thames Transfer” scheme where some early work is looking at the possibility of moving water from a number of sources in Wales, the North West and the Midlands to the South East of England by releasing water into the River Severn and then transferring it on to the River Thames. Another example of this is the potential to transfer water via the Grand Union Canal.

Why we need your help

The Severn Thames Transfer Scheme involves three water companies – United Utilities, Severn Trent and Thames Water – who are working together with regulators to examine the feasibility of the option in more detail.

Both United Utilities and Severn Trent are supporting the Severn Thames Transfer by considering the use of new water sources. The aim is that these new sources will provide sufficient water to allow an excess to be transferred to other regions where water is in shorter supply. These new sources could also provide extra resilience when needed, in a way that doesn’t damage the natural environment.

Work throughout 2020-2025 will look at appropriate regulatory, technical and environmental aspects of the transfer. If the results of these investigations are favourable it will allow the Severn Thames Transfer to be considered as an option in future regional and water company Water Resource Management Plans. If the scheme progressed, it could bring many benefits to the region, including investment in water infrastructure, improvements for nature and creating skilled jobs.


Continue the discussion

Take the conversation to our IdeaStream forum where you can discuss your water resources plans further.