Welsh Water submits £3.5 billion proposal to invest in infrastructure and environmental initiatives
Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water has submitted a business plan to Ofwat, outlining a proposed £3.5 billion investment in infrastructure and environmental initiatives from 2025 to 2030.
Water companies in England and Wales have today offered their plans to regulator Ofwat, proposing an unparalleled level of investment in the sector.
According to the BBC, water bills in Wales increase by up to £120 per year by 2030 to fund essential upgrades and minimise sewage discharges.
The Welsh Water plan intensely focuses on reducing the environmental footprint, dedicating nearly £1.9 billion to environmental projects between 2025 and 2030.
This includes substantial reductions in phosphorous discharges from wastewater treatment to rivers in Special Areas of Conservation, addressing an urgent need for enhancement in river water quality.
Welsh Water also plans to execute extensive work on its network of 2,300 storm overflows to prevent them from causing ecological damage to rivers in its operating region, thus playing a crucial role in protecting the environment.
By 2030, the company aims to enhance drinking water compliance, lower customer complaints regarding tap water quality by 57%, and reduce leakage by a quarter against the 2019-20 baseline.
Additionally, Welsh Water is set to replace 7,500 customers’ lead pipes, advancing towards a ‘lead-free Wales.’
The proposal includes working towards diminishing the total number of pollution incidents by 24%, with a financial commitment of £13 million a year between 2025-30 to help sustain its social tariffs schemes.
Welsh Water projects an enhancement in its annual contribution to the Welsh economy, supporting over 9,000 full-time jobs and reaffirming its goal to become carbon neutral by 2040.
Despite the necessary rise in the average monthly bill by £5 in 2025 and £10 by 2030, the company, acknowledging the cost-of-living challenges, intends to expand its support to customers in vulnerable situations.
Welsh Water serves more than three million people across most of Wales including Deeside and across the border into Cheshire.
Welsh Water Chief Executive Peter Perry said: “This is the most ambitious Business Plan we have ever developed, and as a not not-for-shareholder company, our customers’ interests and priorities are the foundation of our plan and everything we do. Whilst it presents a significant challenge we are confident that it is both deliverable and financeable and will help to improve our performance significantly over the coming years.
“We have been able to keep bills flat or falling in real terms over the last 10 years, but we now need to make a material investment in our water and wastewater systems to meet the challenges of climate change, protect our rivers, and improve the resilience of our water supplies. Our research shows that the majority of our customers accept that this investment is necessary and should not be postponed. For our part we will continue to drive innovation and efficiency of our operations to reduce costs wherever we can.
“We are only too conscious of how difficult the last few years have been for our customers and this is why our Plan includes significant additional support for customers who are struggling to make ends meet.”
Alastair Lyons, Chairman of Glas Cymru, said: “This Business Plan begins a multi-AMP strategy to tackle our impact on the environment, in particular the quality of water in our rivers. It also aims to strengthen the resilience of our operations in support of the programmes on which we are already embarked to improve our performance where we currently fall short. We already see how climate change is challenging us in both these areas.
“We believe that the Plan represents ambitious progress towards meeting the objectives of our long-term strategy Welsh Water 2050, while representing good value for customers in terms of what will be delivered. Our £3.5bn investment programme will also bring significant opportunities to increase our contribution to the Welsh economy, supporting thousands of jobs across Wales.” Spotted something? Got a story? Send a Facebook Message | A direct message on Twitter | Email: News@Deeside.com