Developing our Water Resources Management Plan
We’ve now completed the update of our long-term strategies, which shape the North West’s water and wastewater service for the next 25 years (covering the period 2015-2040).
In 2013, we published our draft Water Resources Management Plan (WRMP) and we asked for comments during the consultation period (14 May-6 August 2013). The plan sets out the investment needed to ensure that we have sufficient water to continue supplying our customers over the 25 years from 2015 to 2040. For example, in the future we may experience more severe droughts due to changing rainfall patterns and we may need to take less water to help improve the flow in some of our rivers for the benefit of fish and other species that live there. This long term view is updated every five years after consultation.
Following the consultation and an Examination in Public, we have now published a 2015 Final Water Resources Management Plan after approval of a revised draft version of the plan published in February 2015. We have now formally adopted this plan, which supersedes our 2009 Water Resources Management Plan.
The Final Water Resources Management Plan and accompanying documents may be found here. We will review our Final Water Resources Management Plan on an annual basis and publish this Annual Water Resources Review in the same location.
We would like to express our thanks to all customers and stakeholders who were involved in the process to develop and shape the plan.
West Cumbria water supply project
Following consultation for our draft WRMP during summer 2013, we identified Thirlmere as our preferred alternative source of water for West Cumbria. We recently completed phase one of our consultation on three potential pipeline route options, and now have a preferred route. The second phase of our consultation is open until 31st May 2015. For ongoing updates and to get involved in the consultation for the scheme, details may be found here.
Consultation and Examination in Public on our plan
Our draft plan was available for public consultation from 14 May 2013 to 6 August 2013 and showed a forecast supply-demand deficit in West Cumbria. We identified the Thirlmere transfer as our preferred alternative source of water for West Cumbria within a revised draft Plan published in November 2013. This took into account the feedback and views from the consultation process on the draft plan, which we summarised in a Statement of Response.
On 2 April 2014, we were notified that the Secretary of State had decided to exercise his power to call for an inquiry or other hearing in connection with our 2013 revised draft Water Resources Management Plan. This resulted in an examination in public on our plan, chaired by an independent Planning Inspector – further information from this process may be found here.
On 9 December 2014, the Secretary of State issued her decision to accept the conclusions and recommendations in the Inspector’s report. The Secretary of State directed us to make changes to our revised draft plan. This did not result in changes to the Thirlmere transfer scheme as the preferred alternative source of water for West Cumbria. The 2015 revised draft Water Resources Management Plan has since been approved by the Secretary of State, and has now been adopted as the Final Water Resources Management Plan. This covers the period 2015-2040, and formally replaces our 2009 Water Resources Management Plan.
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