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The provision of water to meet Medway's future needs

A report to the Regeneration and Development Overview and Scrutiny Committee, 17 July 2007

Photo of a woman drinking a glass of waterThe Regeneration and Development Overview and Scrutiny Committee published its findings and recommendations after holding an eight-month, in-depth review about the future supply of water for Medway, particularly taking into account the number of new houses due to be built here in the next 20 years.



Some of the key findings are as follows:

  • There are no further reserves of groundwater to be exploited within Medway or the surrounding area and therefore local supplies must be supplemented from further afield to meet future needs (70 per cent of Medway’s water is from groundwater supplies).
  • The science of climate change is evolving and although climate change scenarios are factored into water resource plans, it continues to cause uncertainty. This may influence whether there will be the winter "spare flow capacity" that is anticipated.
  • At present, there is insufficient co-operation between the water companies to allow strategic planning to be undertaken at a regional level. There is a strong case for a south-east strategy for the supply of water and the creation of a statutory body with authority and resources to form such a strategy and direct the water companies in its implementation.
  • Appropriate supplies can be maintained but only if all the measures currently in the water companies' plans come forward and are delivered on time.
  • When Southern Water attended a review hearing, although contingency plans were mentioned briefly, no clear details were given of what might happen if any of the projects listed fails to come forward, particularly those that could supply the amount of water needed in time to match the expected growth in demand in Medway.

The complete document, including all the findings and recommendations, is available to download as a series of pdf files listed below. To use these, you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you do not have this on your computer, please use our advice page.