Hosepipe ban has nothing to do with planning failures

Mr Long (Spalding Guardian, March 15) asks what Anglian Water is doing to protect supplies during the drought and wonders at the lack of new reservoirs and desalination plants.

The need for a hosepipe ban – the first in Lincolnshire for 20 years – has nothing to do with a failure to plan ahead, but a lack of rain over two winters. Hugely expensive, energy-hungry solutions like desalination should not be the first solution.

In addition to the costs, the exceptional nature of droughts like the one we are in means such plants could spend most of their lives sitting unneeded and idle.

We believe the answer to long-term water security lies instead with more efficient use of the water we have.

Anglian Water supplies the same amount of water every day as we did at privatisation 20 years ago, despite a 20 per cent increase in the population we serve.

This is a direct result of our focus on greater water efficiency, on increasing the use of water meters, of the billions invested in reducing leaks and improving storage and movement.

Across Lincolnshire work is under way to improve the security of supply.We are spending £40million on a 63km pipeline to take water from Covenham reservoir to Boston, improving the security of supply for more than 100,000 people.

And £14million will be spent expanding the water treatment works at Elsham to supply an extra 15million litres a day to the growing number of businesses on the Humber Bank. Plans are in for a new water treatment works at Newton, which would treat water from the River Trent for supply to Lincoln.

New boreholes are being brought on line to better exploit the aquifers which account for the vast majority of Lincolnshire’s drinking water, and we are constantly looking at other ways to improve the network.

All of us at Anglian Water live and work in the region and we have a very real stake in seeing it grow and thrive. We will all be doing what we can during this period of drought.

Peter Simpson

Managing Director

Anglian Water