WaterFit - Our promises for the region's water
Our waterways are not only a vital source of drinking water and an important resource for industry, they give us so much more. They support our wildlife and ecosystem, enhance the beautiful landscape, and enable a huge range of activities, from canoeing and kayaking, to walking trails, fishing, and swimming.
So we’re making a series of commitments, which are backed by effective plans and supported by investment, to make real progress towards high quality river water, protect our beautiful coastal bathing water, and ensure a sustainable future for the South West. We’ve called these plans WaterFit.
Why we’re making these commitments:
Pollution can drive up our bills for the intensive treatment of drinking water, and threatens the survival of wildlife, the natural environment and the ecosystem.
While our Clean Sweep programme focused on bathing water at our beaches, which are now better than they’ve ever been, we have also been investing a lot of money to support the regeneration of our local rivers.
Now we want to go further. We know it’s what customers want, and we know it’s the right thing to do. That’s why we’re committed to playing our part in protecting and enhancing our rivers and seas for future generations.
Our WaterFit commitments
1.Nurture healthy rivers and seas, by reducing our impact on our rivers by a third by 2025, and making sure all our plans cause zero harm by 2030. We also aim to eliminate pollution incidents by 2025, with a steady reduction between now and then.
We will use the information we gain from our current pilots on the rivers Dart and Tavy to create the region's first ever river bathing status, and we plan to provide real-time river water quality information, in the same way we do with our bathing waters, by 2023.
2.Put nature on everyone’s doorstep
We’ll provide access to all our inland lakes and reservoirs, so you can enjoy everything they offer. We’ll make sure that everybody has a place to swim within an hour’s drive.
3.Create and restore habitats
We’re going to restore another 1,000 hectares of peatlands by 2025 to create new habitats, improve river quality and reduce flooding, and we’ll be working with farming communities to stop pollutants from farmland getting into our rivers by 2025.
4.Inspire local champions
We’re going to start by by donating 25% of our Neighbourhood Fund to local groups that share our passion for river health, and we’ll be launching our new Environmental Warriors Outreach Programme soon.
5.Create a sustainable future
We’re already well ahead of our schedule to plant a quarter of a million trees by 2025 to help fight climate change, support river health and create new wildlife habitats.
And one more promise:
6.We’ll put people in control
We’re going to be completely open with you as we go along. We’ll share our progress through our website, our unique WaterShare+ scheme, at our quarterly public meetings and at the Customer AGM. Keep in touch via our website, or come along to our meetings, to see how we’re doing, and tell us what you think.