Put simply, the plan considers how much water we have available to use for public water supply and how this might change in the future, and compares this with how much water our customers are likely to need.
This tells us if we have enough resources, or a deficit. If we have a deficit, we will need to make plans to plug the gap. There are complex and detailed technical assessments which underpin the plan.
The diagram illustrates the steps we undertake to develop our plan and each step is then described:
How much water is available?
We assess how much water is available and how this may change in the future, due to factors such as the changing climate and reductions in licences.
How much water do we need?
We assess how much water our customers need now and forecast how this may change in the future due to factors such as population growth.
Is there enough?
We compare the amount of water available and the amount of water we will need. If there is a surplus, we do not have a problem. However if there is a gap, or a deficit, we need to look at options to plug the gap.
What can we do about it?
There are a range of options to manage the resources that we have more effectively eg leakage reduction and metering. We also look at options to provide new resources such as water reuse and reservoirs.
How do we decide what to do?
We consider a range of factors including cost, reliability of resources during droughts and the environmental impact to decide on the programme of options which we believe offers the best value for our customers and the environment.