Bristol Water no longer requires a new reservoir at Cheddar, according to its draft water resources management plan (WRMP) for 2020-2045.

The company is asking customers for their views on its WRMP, which looks to balance the needs of its customers and the environment and considers factors likely to impact the water sector.

It said there are “key differences” between this plan and the previous plan (WRMP14), which identified a need for a new reservoir at Cheddar.

“A new reservoir will not be required within the planning horizon to 2045,” the draft publication says. Bristol Water plans to address the projected supply demand deficit by introducing measures to reduce leakage and water demand.

Bristol Water said: “This change follows a reassessment of expected demand (there are now no plans for major new industrial demand in the Bristol supply area), changes in the company’s risk approach on headroom and changes in resilience planning, with a new approach that proposes to be even more resilient to drought.”

Patric Bulmer, head of water resource and environment, told Utility Week: “Our new water resource management plan focuses on demand reduction, not new resources.  We look forward to building our existing partnerships with other regional organisations, developing the West of England area as a centre of excellence for sustainable economic growth – and developing opportunities to create new water transfers to water-stressed parts of southern Britain.”

The company aims to reduce leakage by six million litres per day between 2020 and 2025. It said in 2034 it will extend its approach to reduce “raw water losses”, increasing water available by 4.7 million litres per day.

It said there will also be the potential, further out in the planning period (2039) to reduce bulk water transfers to areas outside of Bristol, increasing the water available to its customers by 6.37 million litres per day.

“This reduction would only be done in consultation with the users of this water, to ensure the best possible use of water resources in the region,” the WRMP says.

Every five years water companies are required to produce and publish a WRMP, which should demonstrate the company has long-term plans to balance the supply and demand of water in the future.

Plans consider the impacts of issues such as population growth, drought, environmental obligations and climate change uncertainty.

Ofwat is urging water companies to reduce leakage by 15 per cent by 2025. In its final methodology for PR19, it said: “We expect companies to adopt ambitious leakage commitments, justified against our challenges: a 15 per cent reduction by 2025 and forward-looking upper quartile performance on leakage per property per day.”

Severn Trent and Thames Water both recently launched public consultations on their draft water resources management plans.

Bristol Water’s consultation runs until 31 May.

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