This work provides clarity around the available options for regional planning and their level of development
Since the privatisation of water companies in England and Wales in 1989 there has been limited development of new large-scale interconnections or strategic water resources, despite continued population growth, the emerging impacts of climate change, and forecast uncertainty relating to supplies.
In recent years water industry regulators in England and Wales have begun implementing a new planning phase designed to enable resource planning on a wider scale than the traditional company-level Water Resources Management Planning (WRMP). The purpose of this new tier of regional planning will be to investigate whether large scale interconnections or strategic water resources are necessary within England and Wales and whether they could contribute to increased resilience and more efficient use of existing supplies for society and the environment.
As part of Water Resources North (WReN), Yorkshire Water commissioned our team to undertake scoping work on five regional scale projects identified as potential opportunities for interconnection. We showed how these opportunities could help build resilience and where there were risks and constraints. Work also included outlines on what further investigations would be required before gap analyses and feasibility studies could take place (and the regulatory timelines they’d have to adhere to). Lastly, we provided initial investigation into drought conditions relevant to both the WReN region and those adjoining it where interconnection opportunities exist.
With all this information in hand, Yorkshire Water and their partners in WReN can more confidently plan inter-regional connections that will better serve their customers and the wider region.
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