Proposals are underway to secure the nation’s water resources for the future.
Among the various regional groups, Water Resources South East (WRSE), an alliance of the six water companies that supply drinking water across London and the South East England, have now submitted draft proposals for addressing the region’s increasing vulnerability to serious water shortages. (WRSE draft Best Value Plan: https://wrse.uk.engagementhq.com/our-consultation)
The proposal, being put forward by the Cotswold Canals Trust, could see up to 300 million litres of water per day being transferred from the River Severn to the River Thames via the canal.
However, the Cotswold Canals Severn-Thames Transfer is not included in both draft plans even though it delivers so much more. “This scheme has huge advantages over more traditional solutions like reservoirs and pipelines,” says Ken Burgin, Director at the Cotswold Canals Trust. “We end up with a restored canal, no loss of countryside and less need to keep taking water from the ground in the South East.”
It is almost certainly the most promising way of getting the restoration of the whole 36 miles of the Thames – Severn link restored within perhaps 12 years or so. Quicker than solutions currently being advocated in the draft plan, including a preferred but controversial reservoir.
The Trust believes the Severn Thames Transfer is the best value option – one that considers a range of factors alongside economic cost and seeks to achieve an outcome that increases the overall benefit to customers, the wider environment and society.
The pipeline option for the Severn-Thames Transfer lacks the environmental and social capital ambition that the canal offers
The time to express support for the sustainable Cotswold Canals Severn Thames water transfer is now. Concerned parties can raise their concerns through the following ways:
Emailing WRSE via [email protected] by 20th February 2023.
Thames Water are running a parallel, but separate, consultation on their draft Water Resource Management Plan with a deadline of 21st March 2023. Feedback should be sent to [email protected] with a copy in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) at[email protected]
More information on the Cotswold Canals Trust water transfer solution visit https://cotswoldcanals.org/wxfer/