Affinity Water's business plan for 2015-2020 has been granted 'enhanced' status by Ofwat, in a move that has delighted campaign groups and landowners throughout the local area.
The plan, submitted in December 2013, includes proposals to dramatically reduce abstraction in some of the worst affected areas, including phasing it out at Whitehall on the Beane, and Fulling Mill on the Mimram. Output from the biggest pumping station is set to go down by a staggering 90%, to 2 mega litres per day from an average of 18!
Affinity is one of only two water companies to be awarded 'enhanced' status by the water regulatory body, Ofwat, and it encourages them to begin planning to implement their proposals, which also include reducing leakage, installing meters and providing advice to encourage customers to use less water. Overall, Affinity pledge to reduce the amount of water taken from the environment by 42 million litres per day.
Over 12,500 customers responded to Affinity's consultations, helping to shape the plan that they submitted. Prominent campaigns by local river groups, including the RBRA and Friends of the River Mimram, have been recognised by Affinity as contributing to Ofwat's decision by demonstrating the strength of public support.
This is a real success for everyone involved in the consultation and development of the plan, including the Environment Agency, river groups, landowners and of course Affinity Water. It offers real hope for Hertfordshire's important chalk rivers, hopefully bringing them closer to an ecologically sustainable level.
Well done to everyone involved!