Severn Trent will produce an extra 95m litres of water to tackle threat of water scarcity

Friday 24th September 2021

Water company Severn Trent is set to produce an extra 95 million litres of water – using innovative low carbon methods – to help tackle the growing threat of water scarcity.

Traditional methods of treating water can be carbon heavy, taking 400 tonnes to produce one megalitre of water. For this project, Severn Trent will use nature to pre-treat water, use rivers to transport it and use innovative technology like ceramic membranes (an innovative technology that requires fewer chemicals and uses less energy than traditional technology) to help massively reduce the amount of carbon it takes to treat water and setting a new precedent for treating water, while the company works towards achieving net zero carbon emissions. 

The project will create an additional 46 hectares of biodiversity and help protect customer’s water supplies during the longer, drier summers we can expect in the future. 

Severn Trent is taking a leading role in the Midlands with a series of ambitious programmes that will address water scarcity, boost biodiversity and enhance the environment as part of the company’s effort to combat the impact of climate change in the region. 

The pioneering scheme is one of six projects in the £566m Green Recovery Programme helping to shape the company’s environmental approach.  

Liv Garfield, Severn Trent CEO said: “It’s really easy to take water for granted, but with the very real challenges climate change will and is already presenting, like drier summers and population growth – we really do need to re-evaluate our relationship with water, and everyone has to look after it. 

“It’s just 37 days until global leaders at COP26 will meet to discuss worldwide action on climate change and we all need to play our part where we can. “This project will see us boosting the resilience of water supplies across our region, and while we still all need to be mindful of how we use water – it will see less disruption for customers during heat waves when the country is basking in record breaking temperatures.” 

She added: “Even though this scheme is in its early stages, I’m hugely confident that this, along with our other Green Recovery schemes, our Great Big Nature Boost commitments, and the partnerships and investments all outlined in our strategy, this will be the catalyst for change, and help other industries and influencers when it comes to understanding how they do their bit in looking after the planet.”Severn Trent plans to have the extra 95 megalitres in its supply will be completed by 2025. 

Severn Trent has today published ‘Caring for Our Environment’ which details Severn Trent’s environmental ambitions and commitments. 

The report also states that Severn Trent will aim to:
·        Contribute to climate mitigation, catchment management and biodiversity by planting 1.3m trees;

·        Achieve Net zero operational carbon; 100% renewable energy and 100% electric vehicle fleet by 2030;

·        Using an approved carbon reduction plan approved by the global Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) reduce scope 1 and scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 46.2%;

·        Creating 68Ml/d of new supply capacity to ensure security of supplies while reducing abstraction from unsustainable sources by up to 39Ml/d by 2030.

·        Improve 5,000 hectares of land in the Severn Trent region by 2027 through its Great Big Nature Boost;

·        Expand catchment programmes to work with 9,000 farmers to roll out innovative practices to reduce agricultural run off to protect water quality;

·        Install 15,000 blue green sustainable drainage and nature based solutions to prevent flooding;

·        Help rivers to reach ecologically good status and for our region to become recognised as leading area for river swimming. 

To find out more about Severn Trent’s approach to the environment, you can access ‘Caring for Our Environment’ here