Water Industry News

Green Recovery Proposal From South West Water Gets Regulatory Support

Water regulator Ofwat has announced that it is supportive of the Green Recovery proposal put forward by South West Water.


The company revealed that the key draft decision from Ofwat means that the initiative is one step closer to coming to life. Under the proposals, South West Water will make carefully planned investments across the whole of its operating region, and this will lead to the creation of up to 500 new jobs.


It also stated that the initiative is an opportunity for the company to have an even greater positive societal impact, with Susan Davy, chief executive officer of South West Water’s parent company Pennon Group, noting that this will also allow the business to have a far greater environmental impact too.


“We are confident South West Water can step up to the challenge, deliver for all and play our part in the Green Recovery,” Ms Davy stated.


Meanwhile, Lord Matthew Taylor, chair of the WaterShare+ Advisory Panel, commented: “It’s great news to see the regulator is supportive of South West Water’s plans to create jobs, address pressing environmental issues and to keep customer bills low.”


Among the key areas of focus on the Green Recovery plan are to eliminate harm caused by storm drain overflows, to trial improvements to river quality to ensure it matches the standards of bathing water, and to deliver low carbon water treatment works.


Under the initiative, South West Water will also work to restore the region’s peatland, which will help to reduce carbon emissions. There are also plans for the company to work closely with customers to improve their water efficiency and to create smarter and healthier homes for those in this part of the country.


South West Water is already involved in many initiatives aimed at improving water quality in the region and taking action to improve the environment.


In February of this year, it started an ambitious project to plant 40,000 trees in Combe Martin in Devon, where the hope is that planting more trees and hedges along the River Umber can help to protect the waterway from bacteriological contamination.


Because the river flows into the sea at Combe Martin beach, any efforts to improve the quality of the water further upstream will result in an improvement in the bathing water quality recorded at the beach.


Brett Grosvenor of the Environment Agency, explained that the organisation had been working closely with its partners and local landowners to take “a nature-led approach to reducing flood risk and increasing water quality and biodiversity in the Combe Martin catchment”.


Many local landowners in the catchment area have volunteered to get involved with the project, with hopes that this pilot scheme could be extended to cover more of the river’s route, with hedgerow planting and fencing also part of the initiative.


As a business, it might be challenging to see how you can make a significant positive contribution to issues surrounding water use if you aren’t a landowner or a business that uses a significant amount of water. However, every saving counts, so you might find it’s worth switching business water suppliers to find one that aligns with your values.