We are advising three water companies on major infrastructure projects for key resilience assets.
Each of these projects is vital to ensuring a sustainable supply of drinking water to their customers.
Southern Water: Havant Thicket reservoir
The South East is one of the most water-stressed parts of the country, and so Southern Water is partnering with neighbouring water company, Portsmouth Water, to deliver an innovative solution. Together they are developing the first new reservoir in the South East since the 1970s. They are doing it using a new model of bulk supply agreement which could be a model for other water companies to develop new infrastructure in this collaborative way. Until now new infrastructure has generally been developed "in-region" by a company for its own customers. By collaborating with Portsmouth Water to develop this reservoir, Southern Water can ensure water that ordinarily flows into the sea is captured – allowing it to reduce the amount it takes from local rivers.
United Utilities: Haweswater Aqueduct Resilience Project
Haweswater Acqueduct is over 100km long and runs from Haweswater reservoir in the Lake District to Manchester, and supplies drinking water to millions of people in the North West. It was built in the 1950s and is beginning to show signs of its age, so United Utilities is therefore undertaking a huge exercise to replace a number of its sections, which given some are up to 300m underground is a huge engineering task. What's more, it will be procured using the new "direct procurement for customers" model – which is a novel form of project finance being promoted by the Regulator (Ofwat) and pioneered by United Utilities.
Anglian Water: Lincs Deficit Transfer and Treatment scheme
This project forms part of a wider strategic grid of new pipelines to move water around different areas of the East of England to make sure less water-rich areas have a resilient supply of clean drinking water (and at 500km it is longer than HS2 and one of the largest pipeline infrastructure projects in the UK for some time) described above, Lincs Deficit is being procured using direct procurement for customers. These are two of the first projects to go to market using that model.
These projects are vital to the sustainable and resilient supply of drinking water in their areas. They also demonstrate use of novel funding and procurement models that will be replicated across the country. This will be particularly important as the UK continues to invest in new and improved water infrastructure to meet the challenges faced by a changing climate and growing population.