On 9th July Martin Collison in his role as Communications and Engagement Group Chair of WRE was pleased to be on the panel for the WRE launch event at the Lincolnshire Showground.
WRE is a collaborative project to ensure we have the water needed until 2060 for new houses, farming and the environment, from the Humber to the Thames. The brainchild of Anglian Water CEO Peter Simpson, its pioneering work is looking at the integration of flood prevention and water supply. Working at catchment level we aim to address the ‘too much or too little’ water challenge. At one level the scale of the challenge looks immense. Models suggest that by 2060, if we made no additional investment, we would be short of water by over 30% of today’s usage in the East of England – a supply shortfall of 750,000 tonnes per day.
But, and this is controversial, we don’t think we are short of water, we are short of water management. Much of the East is flat and this means we also spend lots of money, much of it from farmers, on drainage. The new pumps at St Germans near Kings Lynn can pump 100 tons of fresh water per second into the Wash. With over 100 Internal Drainage Boards in England the potential to capture and store water for later use is a major opportunity. Farmers have a key role to play in this programme and we are very keen to hear from farmers who are interested in working collaboratively to manage water supplies or flooding.
Details of WRE can be found at: http://www.waterresourceseast.com/