Ofwat gives go ahead to accelerate schemes totalling £2.2bn


Ofwat has today confirmed its final decision to allow 33 infrastructure schemes, totalling £2.2 billion, with work beginning in the next two financial years, from 2023-24. This follows a public consultation on Ofwat’s original announcement on the programme in April 2023.

The projects which have been given the green light for 2023-2030 include:

  • Ten schemes worth close to £1.7 billion to tackle storm overflows. These will use innovative plans to reduce overflow spills by around 10,000 per year. This includes work to improve water quality at the bathing water site at Ilkley on the River Wharfe and significantly reduce spills into Lake Windermere.
  • Seven smart metering schemes that includes the installation of 462,000 smart meters and which will help to increase drought resilience.
  • Six water supply schemes which will provide an additional 75Ml/d of water once completed and protect a maximum of 31Ml/d of peak output.
  • Three nutrient neutrality schemes worth potentially £160 million that will protect natural ecosystems.

The water sector is facing dry summers and more frequent and intense rainfall. In addition, there is a need to significantly improve river and bathing water quality across the UK. To help tackle these issues, Ofwat agreed with Defra companies to make an early start on schemes included in existing plans, where they could demonstrate clear need and benefits to customers and the environment.

Chris Walters, Senior Director, Price Review at Ofwat said:

“The water sector needs to act now to secure future needs of customers and the environment. The schemes we are confirming today will help tackle storm overflows, install more smart meters, provide additional water supply and improve river water quality. In each case the company has demonstrated a clear need and benefits to customers and the environment”.

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