Thriving environment

Our business is intrinsically linked to the environment as we rely on it for our raw product, water. For this reason we do all we can to ensure there is a clean, resilient and sustainable supply available for current and future water customers whilst ensuring there is enough water available to support the needs of the environment too. Click 'Discover More' to find out more from our Head of Environment, Emma Goddard.

Low carbon sustainable business

We’re committed to playing our part to tackle the causes of climate change and transitioning to low-carbon operations, achieving net zero by 2030. Click ‘Discover more’ to find out more from our Carbon Strategy and Economic Manager, Matt Hersey.

Securing the future of water

Resilient water resources are needed to ensure we have enough water to supply our customers into the future, while ensuring enough remains in the environment so habitats can thrive. Click ‘Discover more’ to find out more from our Head of Water Resources, Nick Price.

Future ready business

Our people are dedicated to providing you with the best service possible, whether they’re out in the field searching for leaks, managing our operational sites, testing the quality of your water or answering your queries. Each and every person within the business is dedicated to delivering you the safe reliable tap water supply you expect. Click 'Discover more' to find out more from our Head of HR, Sian Jenkins.

Introduction by Nick Price, Head of Water Resources

We need resilient water resources to make sure we have enough water for the future, especially as we operate in a water-stressed area where there is a growing population and a precious environment to protect.

We’ve set out how we’ll provide a reliable and resilient drinking water supply over the next 50 years in our revised draft Water Resources Management Plan 2024 (rWRMP24) which was published in August 2023 with our consultation Statement of Response. This puts a strong focus on managing and reducing demand for water by cutting leaks, and through smart metering and water efficiency programmes. The plan also considers a range of future possible scenarios so we can adapt depending on how the population grows and how climate change continues to impact us.

The Water Industry National Environment Programme (WINEP) is a key driver of our approach as it requires us to deliver improvement schemes that protect and enhance the natural environment with sustainability at their heart. We must develop new water sources as there will be fewer and more constrained abstraction licences in future. One way we’re doing this is by speeding up the Broad Oak reservoir scheme in East Kent for delivery in 2033. We’re also planning a second reservoir for Arlington in the future.

In 2023/24 we experienced some key challenges, including a long period of very dry weather and the hottest June on record. This resulted in record-breaking water use so we had to introduce a temporary use ban to bring demand down to maintain supplies.

Tackling leakage is a high priority for us and for our customers and we’ve continued to find and fix leaks across our network to protect water supplies and make them resilient for the future. We’ve invested in more gangs to detect and fix more leaks and reduced leakage and invested in more technology. We’re also exploring new ways to reline older and leaking pipes to minimise disruption to customers.

During 2023/24 our customers each used an average of 143.4 litres of water a day, a 4.6 per cent reduction on 2022/23, achieved through a proactive water efficiency programme which has included issuing free water-saving devices and awareness campaigns.

Work is progressing on our new £39 million water treatments works near Maidstone which, when complete in March 2025, will supply up to 22 million litres of additional water. We were delighted to showcase the project, which is in partial use now, to Water Minister Robbie Moore MP during a site visit. In January we won the Utility Week Infrastructure Delivery Award for a three-year project, completed in August, to restore drinking water storage tanks damaged by multiple sinkholes near Maidstone in 2020.

We’re trialling an initiative in an area which has experienced several supply interruptions recently, to identify opportunities to reduce demand and increase supply by reviewing the entire water cycle. Aerial surveys are helping us learn more about water usage in the Challock and Molash area, near Canterbury.

We’ve redesigned the Bewl-Darwell water resource project to provide greater resilience benefits for customers. The purpose of the scheme is to prevent the spread of invasive species between catchments and so in future we will stop abstracting from Darwell reservoir and take water from Bewl Water reservoir instead. The scheme requires an upgrade at Bewl treatment works and some new pipelines to allow water from Bewl to support two water resource zones in Sussex. Although it’ll be partially complete in March 2025, the scheme redesign will impact on the final completion schedule.

During the past year we have refurbished 10 boreholes to prevent them degrading and to improve and optimise borehole yield. We also surveyed a further four boreholes to determine their condition as part of a wider borehole maintenance and monitoring programme.

We’ve made solid progress in rolling out new meters to some larger non household customers to measure their demand more accurately and to improve our water balance assessment. We’re also supporting non-household customers (schools, farms etc) with water efficiency audits to help reduce their consumption.

As part of our drought planning, we’ve started to review our Drought Plan trigger curves for Ardingly and Arlington reservoirs which inform the timing of the actions we take to avoid reservoirs running dry during droughts. We’re also looking at how we can refill Arlington reservoir with better quality water during periods of intense rainfall. Heavy downpours affect raw water quality, leading to higher treatment costs.

Our key measures


Company sites protected from risk of flooding

Making sure our sites can continue to operate following extremes of weather is vital to help ensure the resilience of your water supply. By 2024/25 we have committed to protecting 92 of our sites from flooding with less than a 1/1000 Annual Exceedance Probability.


Strategic main – Wellwood to Potters Corner

Our plan to lay a new 15 kilometre long pipeline between our Wellwood and Potters Corner water storage tanks will enable us to pump more water into the Ashford area. The new water main is due to be fully commissioned by September 2026.

Arlington Reservoir during prolonged dry weather

Risk of severe restrictions in a drought

Dry weather (or a drought) is a natural event which happens when a period of prolonged low rainfall creates a water shortage. Our target for 2020/21 is to have zero customers impacted by a 1-in-200 year drought.

A leak on a water pipe


We are committed to reducing the amount of water lost to leaks both on our network, and in customers’ homes, by 15 per cent between 2020 and 2025.


Play an active role regionally in relation to the impact of housing growth

Our responsible business commitment is to play an active role regionally in relation to the impact of housing growth on water.


Per Capita Consumption

By 2025, we are targeting the annual amount of water used by each of our customers to reduce from 143.1 litres a day in 2019/20 to 131.5 litres a day.