Managing water resources

Map of the WRE regionWater Resources East (WRE) is an independent, not-for-profit organisation that aims to make sure water is available for everyone in Eastern England  now and in the future. It is one of five water resources planning regions in England and Wales. 

WRE brings together representatives from the water, power generation, local government, agricultural, industrial, food production, environmental and retail sectors. Together, they help to shape WRE's policies and projects. 

It is responsible for planning and overseeing the delivery of a number of schemes across Eastern England to ensure long-term water resources for the benefit of all water users.

What is WRE's vision for water resources in Eastern England?
WRE's vision is to have enough water to support the economy, the environment and the needs of its population now and in the future. It wants to be seen as a leader in the field of collaborative water resource management, where everyone works together to deliver benefits for the whole region.  

What part do we play?
We provide clean water services to more than 350,000 people in and around Cambridge. As a member of WRE, we are committed to making sure customers always have high-quality reliable and affordable water supplies. We believe that collaborating with others to develop long-term regional plans is the best way to achieve this. 

Why is regional planning important?
Eastern England faces a number of significant challenges that could impact on future water supplies including:
  • a growing population
  • the area as a major agricultural producer
  • the area as the producer of 20% of England's energy
  • more than 200km of waterways
  • the home to rare chalk streams,
  • 30% of the land mass is below sea level and
  • the significant risk of drought.
Current projections suggest an extra 1,656 litres of water will be needed by 2050.

Graphic showing issues
But the region is also a key player in the UK Government's future plans for economic growth. By managing water resources regionally, WRE aims to ensure that all water needs are met fairly and sustainably, now and in the future. 

WRE is considering the schemes that will help deliver this objective, including new reservoirs and water transfers, as well as those that will deliver changes at a catchment level, helping to protect rare chalk streams.