Water Transfers – RAPID Gate 1 Submission

All water companies are developing plans to ensure there is enough water in the future for customers, businesses and that we protect the natural environment. One of the potential solutions is to transfer water between different areas of the country through projects known as Strategic Water Resource Options (SRO), taking water from areas where and when it is available and sharing it with areas experiencing a shortfall in supply.

As part of the 2019 price review, Ofwat has worked with water companies to develop this SRO Programme. United Utilities (UU) has been part of that programme, working closely with our regulators to ensure a truly collaborative approach in the development of the national water resource solutions. The SRO Programme includes a number of schemes whose feasibility will be assessed and funded during AMP7 (2020-2025). This will enable the right portfolio of projects to be selected by Water Resource Regional Plans, ready for implementation in AMP8 (2025-2030).

UU is involved in 3 schemes:-

  1. River Severn to River Thames Transfer (STT SRO) which involves the transfer of raw water from the River Severn to the River Thames through a new interconnector (joint activity with Severn Trent Water & Thames Water);

  2. United Utilities Sources (UUS SRO) which includes the development of new water resource options to make water available for transfer (UU only) and;

  3. Vyrnwy Aqueduct (VA SRO) which involves engineering work to maintain a resilient supply for customers, who are supplied from the Vyrnwy Aqueduct during times of transfer operation (UU only).

In order to facilitate the SRO Programme, Ofwat have formed the Regulators’ Alliance for Progressing Infrastructure Development (RAPID) which brings together the three English water regulators Ofwat, Environment Agency (EA) and Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI) along with representation from Natural Resources Wales (NRW). RAPID have introduced a gated process to assess SROs during AMP7, with the first gate in July 2021. This process aims to ensure the best value strategic resources options are selected for delivery in AMP8.

The Gate 1 submissions for the 3 SRO schemes UU are participating in can be viewed below.