Our strategies and plans

What is a regional water resources plan? 

A regional water resources plans is an assessment and a plan for the region’s water needs, reflecting growth, climate change and the environment. The plans are created through a collaboration between water companies and other large water users

The plans are designed to deliver: 
  • More resilience to drought
  • Greater environmental improvement
  • Long-term and sustained reductions in the volume of water each of us uses every day
  • Leakage reductions of 50% by 2050.
In addition, they have to show how each region will make sure there is enough water to go round in the future. This could include:
  • Building new reservoirs or desalination plants
  • Implementing water re-use or recycling schemes 
  • Developing and sharing water supplies with other sectors, such as agriculture and energy
  • Moving water from areas where it is plentiful to areas where it is in short supply.
The plans are devised by five regional groups; Water Resources North, Water Resources West, Water Resources South East, West Country Water Resources and our group: Water Resources East.

Together, the five regional plans must add up to a national approach that addresses long-term water resources challenges. This is to ensure there is always enough water to meet everyone’s needs.

Why is a regional plan important for Eastern England?

Graphic stating "highest forecast growth outside London"Demand for water is increasing

Water Resources East needs around 2,311 million litres of water a day to supply all water users across the region and this is likely to increase substantially in the future because of things like population growth – along with the building development that accompanies it – and climate change.

Graphic stating "internationally important environments"
Pressure on the environment

Water companies within Water Resources East are facing restrictions on the volume of water they can take from the environment. This is to ensure the environment is protected now and in the future.

Graphic stating "driest region in the UK"
Shortage of water

Although we think it rains a lot in the UK, Eastern England is one of the driest parts of the country – with only around 600 mm of rainfall a year, on average. So the reality is that the region is already short of water and if nothing changes, this situation will get much worse.

Graphic stating "leading agricultural producer"
Impact on customers

This means our customers may experience changes in water quality, reduced water pressure and more supply interruptions or temporary use (hosepipe) bans. New businesses may find it difficult for their needs to be met. And farmers may lose crops because they don’t have enough water to irrigate their fields.

Our regional water resource plan
As a key member of Water Resources East, we are taking action through the long-term water resources plan to tackle these challenges head on. We are working collaboratively, for the benefit of all water users across the region, to make sure that we can always provide high-quality and sustainable water supplies at an affordable price. 

Read the The Emerging Water Resources Regional Plan for Eastern England.Feedback on this emerging plan for consultation was until 28 February 2022. If you have any additional feedback, please email contact@wre.org.uk. Watch this space for more news on the plan. 

Did you know? 
Our regional plan also informs our detailed local water resources management plan (WRMP), which sets out how we will provide high-quality and sustainable water supplies to our customers over 25 years. 

We develop and consult on our WRMP at least every five years and review it each year. We are currently developing our next WRMP, which will be published in autumn 2023.

Frequently asked questions