A £6.5 billion investment programme has been proposed by Anglian Water, including a £282 million investment for Northamptonshire.
Anglian Water has submitted its business plan covering the five year period from 2020-2025 to regulator Ofwat.
The plan sets out a £6.5 billion investment programme making it one of the largest investments the region has ever seen.
CEO Peter Simpson said: “This is the most ambitious plan we’ve put forward yet with stretching goals that will see us push the frontier in many areas, like leakage, resilience and catchment management, and it’s the biggest investment we’ve ever proposed.
“We provide an essential public service, so it’s imperative our business responds to customer challenge.
“Thousands of customers have helped shape the plan – they told us what matters to them most, we’ve taken that on board and created a plan which reflects those priorities.
“The ‘Beast from the East’ and this summer’s heat wave are the kind of extreme weather challenges we’ll see more of in the future as a result of global climate change.
“The plan we’ve proposed, and the millions of pounds of investment within will tackle these challenges head on to ensure that, despite the likelihood of lower levels of rainfall in the future, there are plentiful supplies of safe, quality water for our growing population.
“Importantly, our plans will deliver this with only a very slight increase in bills- less than one per cent over the whole five years with average bills at the end of the period the same as at the start.
“However, we recognise that for some customers even this miniscule increase is a challenge which is why we’re planning to help on average 475,000 customers every year with one of the most comprehensive support packages in the industry.
“Our plan proposes to accommodate all of this, and crucially, it will deliver this while protecting the environment, something that we agree with our customers is of paramount importance.
“We’re confident it’s the right plan for our customers and our region.”
The proposal for the £6.5 billion investment programme includes reducing leakage by a further 22 per cent, halving the average length of any interruptions to supply, and £650 million invested to enable sustainable growth and allow for more than 200,000 new homes to be built in the region by 2025.
Mr Simpson added: “We’re really confident our plan reflects what customers care about most and their guidance was clear: they expect us to act and invest now to improve the resilience of the region, not wait until costs may need to be higher to meet the challenge.
“It’s the right plan for our customers, and the right plan for the region both for today and for tomorrow.”
The five-year plan will see a £282 million investment for Northamptonshire, which will include:
- Investing a large share of £237 million to fit smart meters in parts of Northamptonshire and significantly reduce leakage across the county
- £30 million to reduce the impact on the river Nene of the water recycling centre in Wellingborough
- About £7 million to reduce the risk of flooding in hotspots, including about half to be spent on sustainable drainage schemes that use nature to slow the flow of rain entering the drains
- £2.1 million to protect eels at the intake in Northampton as part of a nationwide environmental protection programme
- £3.4 million to work with farmers to reduce pesticide levels in the county’s raw waters
- £400,000 for improved river flow monitoring around Pitsford and Northampton to ensure abstraction is sustainable
- £53,000 to address groundwater pollution from fertilisers and animal manures, and protect rivers against phosphate pollution
- A share of £200,000 to support partnership working with Catchment Based Approach groups in Northamptonshire and Rutland to deliver community-led water quality improvement