South West Water unlocks £330 million to improve the region’s rivers and seas

South West Water has outlined the next stage in its Environment Strategy, WaterFit – accelerating and expanding plans to protect and enhance the South West’s water for future generations.

WaterFit has been developed following a line by line review of existing plans and listening to feedback from customers, communities and campaigners right across the region. The plans will deliver a step change in environmental performance through frontloading and rebalancing investment, focusing on those projects that will deliver multiple benefits as well as identifying new projects targeted at delivering environmental enhancements.

Through unlocking additional funding by reinvesting efficiencies and accelerating investment, WaterFit ensures the organisation goes further and faster than base plans. South West Water is on track to deliver £330 million by 2025 to improve the quality of the region’s rivers and seas.

Susan Davy, Chief Executive Officer for Pennon, which owns South West Water, said: “I have been talking with, and listening to, customers and the communities we serve right across the Greater South West and a key priority is protecting and enhancing the beautiful environment we live and operate in. WaterFit outlines how we will protect our region’s rivers and seas together. This is not about broad pledges; this is about delivering a tangible step change in performance backed up by credible plans and increased investment and with the support of our talented employees.

WaterFit will dramatically reduce our use of storm overflows, maintain our region’s excellent bathing water quality standards all year round and reduce and then remove our impact on river water quality by 2030. We also want to put nature on everyone’s doorstep, look to introduce inland bathing, create and restore habitats, inspire local champions to help us make lasting improvements and work towards a more sustainable future – all anchored in our commitment to give the data to our customers and the public that puts them in control.

The South West is a unique region, and I’m proud to call it my home. I take the responsibility of protecting our region’s coastal bathing waters and rivers seriously and this is all part of delivering our step change in environmental performance.”

WaterFit, has clear and measurable objectives, showing how the whole organisation from the Board, Leadership team and all 2,900 colleagues are committed to protecting the South West’s Rivers and Seas.

WaterFit builds on South West Water’s existing plans and progress. For the first time ever this year, the region achieved 100% bathing water quality, with 98% rated ‘good’ or ‘excellent’. Last year also saw the publication of the organisation’s Green Recovery Plan which outlines the steps it is taking to support the region sustainably recover from the pandemic. Alongside this, South West Water is committed to reduce operational carbon emissions and hit net zero by 2030.

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