It’s an important time for Southern Water because we’re starting the next chapter of the conversation with you about our plans for the next 5 years. This is important because water is vital to health, business, tourism and leisure and forms the foundation of sustainable economic growth across the country – and water is fast becoming a major global issue. Scarcity of water is now ranked as one of the top global risks in the world, with one question at the front of everyone’s minds: how can we protect and preserve something that’s essential in everyone’s life, everyday?
As a water company, every five years we have to submit a detailed business plan that will outline the investments we will make in the next five-year period. We need to explain how we’re going to conduct our everyday business as usual, as well as how we’re planning to invest for the future.
Last year, we started the conversation with ‘Let’s Talk Water', our first stage consultation document which we used to highlight important water issues and raise some big questions about how to address the future . We asked what you want to see us prioritise, what key areas we should focus on, where we should be innovating and how we should protect and enhance the environment in the face of big challenges like climate change and a fast-growing population in the South East.
We talked to you, our customers, our regulators, local councils, developers and environmental groups and more than 500,000 of you shared your views with us. So a huge thank you to those of you who took part. You told us how important the environment was to you, how you wanted us to help our more vulnerable customers and that you wanted us to work smarter.
We listened and used these insights to develop our plans further.. So we’re proposing ten big goals to help we shape our business over the next five years and beyond. The first five are about strengthening the foundations of our business, being brilliant at the basics and making sure we’re providing the services our customers expect. The second five are about tackling the big challenges that lie ahead , by working in ways that are cleaner, greener and better. We’re aiming to recycle every drop of water we can; to keep our rivers, lakes, reservoirs and coasts healthy and clean; to help customers reduce the amount of water they use; to innovate to create sustainable communities; and to work with our many partners to secure a resilient economy for the South East.
Now we want to know what you think of these goals and help us to shape them into plans and actions. You can read about them in our latest consultation document – ‘It’s your water too’ – on our website at www.southernwater.co.uk/haveyoursay . You’ll also be able to watch our great new animation, which we’ll be sharing with the world on social media.
Please take a look and get involved by telling us what you think in our short survey.