A public inquiry started this week into the plans put forward by South East Water for how they intend to supply water to customers in Kent and Sussex and how much we will have to pay, as customers and as taxpayers.
Protect Kent is appearing at the inquiry as we believe the South East Water plan is a high risk strategy. The new resources proposed for Kent will not be sufficient to match future demand nor provide secure supplies in times of drought.
Protect Kent feels that much of Southeast England has a supply deficit and the time has come for a properly co-ordinated strategy for the entire region.
Graham Warren, a former Environment Agency Water Resources Manager and now senior figure in Protect Kent outlined his concerns:
“There has been a lack of joined up thinking between the water companies, despite many attempts to get them to work together. In addition, the companies have been given a strong steer from the regulators that only the cheapest options can be pursued. We believe this is wrong and put both our supplies, and Kent’s fragile rivers at risk.”
“Based on our many years of experience of the area we have severe technical reservations about the proposed new groundwater sources and a new reservoir at Broad Oak, near Canterbury. We think they just won’t work. In dry periods, as we’ve had in recent years, this means more frequent hose pipe bans and more pumping from the Medway and the Stour at a time when the wildlife of these rivers are at their most vulnerable. Yet the Environment Agency seems to be abandoning its own plans for making water supplies more sustainable.
This public inquiry gives an opportunity to expose the flawed thinking in all these organisations so that we can get the best result for the people and environment of Kent.”