In a first for the English water sector, utilities are being asked to produce drainage & wastewater management plans (DWMPs) by the UK Government Department for Environment, Farming & Rural Affairs, which includes the Environment Agency. Final DWMPs are due in spring 2023 with the purpose of developing long-term plans to assess future strains on drainage and wastewater networks from the effects of a changing climate, population growth, and increased urbanisation. The plans are expected to be public-facing and comparable between companies. They are also, in part, a response to stricter performance targets, changing government legislation, and increased public scrutiny of combined sewer overflows (CSOs) releasing sewage and stormwater into rivers and seas during heavy rainfall.
Ben Ward, Head of Performance and Innovation, South West WaterThe challenge for South West Water for its DWMP is to evaluate the benefits of different investment options when improving its drainage and wastewater systems – considering the economic, societal and environment benefits within the long-term delivery strategy business planning processes.
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