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Essex Water Strategy

Essex is a water-stressed area. On average we consume larger volumes of water per person than most of England. Only three fifths of the drinking water consumed here comes from the county itself. The rest has to be imported from elsewhere. Apart from domestic use, water is needed by business sectors, such as:

  • agriculture and horticulture
  • food processing
  • power
  • leisure

The situation can be expected to get worse due to:

  • climate change
  • population growth
  • the need to restore, protect and enhance the natural environment

By 2050 the East of England could see a public water supply shortage of around 730 million litres of water per day (Ml/d). This is equal to over a third of the predicted future need.

On top of this, Essex water quality is below the national average. This is as a result of:

  • storm overflows discharging sewage into the water supply
  • pollution from fertilisers and poor livestock management
  • runoff from construction and traffic

Our Water Strategy for Essex (PDF, 11.38 MB) highlights some of the great work already being done across Essex to improve:

  • water resources
  • water quality

It aims to provide an important starting point for more conversations around the risks and opportunities in Essex.

To aid these conversations, we have also developed the Essex Water Your Future online explorer

The explorer provides a high level overview of the issues raised in the strategy. It is a more interactive way to see what is going on with water where you live. This works by showing how complicated the integrated water system can be and then breaking this down to explain each element of the cycle. There are also direct links to Essex case studies and further resources.

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