A surprise from a zoom I attended last week was that many people are unaware that we have a real water crisis here in Horsham District, the first ever in the UK on this scale. The huge water shortfall means that all building work is now on hold while solutions are sought.
Southern Water provide drinking water for over a million properties, and remove and recycle the waste water of almost five million people. Quite a task!
Although we have 205 reservoirs, this provides only 7% of our water. The majority comes from underground aquifers, with around 25% being taken from rivers.
The cost of this service from 2020-2025 is around £1,000 per property, with improvements ranging from digitisation, artificial intelligence and machine learning to re-vamping the 3,500 pumping stations and 40,000 kilometres of sewers. Over a thousand options are being modelled including banning non-essential water use and building a desalination plant at Shoreham.