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Strategic Response 2

Enough water for all

Confronted with an increasing water supply demand gap due to population growth and drier summers due to climate change, we will use our Water Resource Management Plan to ensure the water supply demand balance to 2050. We propose to implement water transfers, demand management measures and leakage reduction programmes to address any deficits, whilst recognising the possible need to support other parts of the UK
SR2 - Enough water for all with Ian Brown

This strategic response includes:

We are currently developing our draft Water Resources Management Plan (WRMP) 2024 which will be submitted to Welsh Government in September 2022. The draft Plan builds on our previous 2019 WRMP and uses innovative modelling methods to understand the reliability of water supplies particularly under the most severe droughts including the impact of climate change. We have consulted with a wide range of customers and stakeholders, including detailed sessions with Natural Resources Wales, Ofwat, the Environment Agency and the Consumer Council for Water, to help define the key priorities for the Plan. Broadly these are defined as:

• Demonstrate that DCWW has enough reliable water resource and treatment capacity over the next 25 years
• Meet Welsh Government’s ‘Guiding Principles’ for the Draft Plan and secure enough water for the environment over the long-term
• Take account of current environmental obligations and support achievement of Wales ‘Well Being Goals’
• Align with Welsh Water’s longer term ‘Water 2050’ strategy in delivering ambitious targets on demand management (leakage, per capita consumption) and enhanced capability to cope with extreme droughts, the occurrence of which is increased as our climate changes
• Deliver our commitment on Level of Service (LoS) to customers, namely:

• Not have a Temporary Use Ban (formerly hosepipe ban) more than once in every 20 years, (1-in-20) on average;

• Not restrict water for commercial use (Non-essential use ban) more than once in every 40 years (1-in- 40), on average; and

• To not impose more extreme measures such as standpipes and rota cuts more frequently than once in every 200 years (1-in-200) on average . We know how impactful the implementation of these would be upon our customers and so our draft WRMP24 sets out how we will move towards a higher LoS of 1-in-500 years for these extreme measures.

Our draft Plan considers a wide range of potential interventions to improve our resilience to drought:
• Demand management – saving water through supporting customers to reduce their usage
• Water reuse – encouraging the use of grey water reuse and rainwater harvesting
• Water metering – to incentivise reduced water usage
• Leakage – reducing the losses in our system through increased investment in leakage monitoring and repair
• Catchment management and natural water retention - in uplands, wetlands and floodplains
• Water resource optimisation – enhancing how we move and use water within and between our existing systems
• Water transfer and trading - across zonal or company boundaries,

In order to identify the interventions for delivery from 2025 and beyond, we prioritise those solutions which provide the ‘Best Value’ through assessing the volume of water provided and the social and environmental impacts of each scheme against the economic cost to deliver. For further information on the development of our draft WRMP24 and our existing WRMP19, please visit

Research and Innovation

Welsh Water will explore the following research topics to support this strategic response:
• Understand interventions that promote water conservation by consumers, businesses and community groups. This could include exploring the success of approaches such as reduced flushing, rainwater harvesting, greywater recycling, water labelling on appliances, smart metering and dynamic pricing;
• Assess the benefits of ‘smart’ metering, particularly for business customers;
• Assess the impacts of climate change on water abstractions, in terms of water availability, impact on the environment, and the use of catchment management to optimise water quantity and quality for ecosystems;
• Understand the possible role of local, community based water supply systems including local abstraction, treatment, and distribution methods;
• Understand and develop approaches to manage the uncertainty of climate change projections and water resources management planning;
• New market opportunities through trading water across company boundaries, taking advantage of new water trading incentives; and
• Low cost desalination opportunities, for example, graphene sieves.

Find out more 

If you would like to find out more about all the Strategic Responses please CLICK HERE
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