Worcester MP Robin Walker has welcomed the further £10 billion investment from water companies to stop storm overflows from continuing to impact our rivers. Robin has met with Severn Trent on multiple occasions, including a site visit to their treatment facility in Worcester, to ensure that they remain keenly aware of the public pressure for them to reduce storm overflows as much as possible.
The Government is clear that the current level of storm overflows is unacceptable. Action is being taken through the Environment Act which imposes strong legal duties on water companies to monitor, report, and reduce spills. The impact of the Act is clear, with only 7% of spills being monitored prior to 2010 compared to 90% nationally in 2023. Additionally, the subsequent Storm Overflow Reduction Plan resulted in a combined national commitment from water companies of £56 billion over the following 25 years, which with today’s announcement has increased to £66 billion in funding.
In Worcester, Severn Trent has committed to an annual investment of £100 million across their wastewater network. Since the publication of the Reduction Plan, they have already met the target of 100% of overflow sites being monitored 12 months ahead of the Government target. They have also exceeded their own internal target of a 20% reduction overflow incidents by 6% and are on track to no longer be assigned as the Reason for Not Achieving Good Status (RNAGS) by the Environment Agency.
As a member of the Conservatives Environment Network (CEN), Robin has supported numerous campaigns to protect Britain’s blue spaces, most recently writing to Ofwat. In that letter he asked the regulator to use the money from the fines it had levied to fund environmental projects improving our countries landscapes, and for the regulator to stop companies from paying dividends if they fail to meet their environmental targets.
Speaking today, Robin said:
“It is our duty to future generations to protect our countries green and blue spaces from pollution and misuse. I am pleased to see water companies are taking resolving this matter very seriously, including Severn Trent who are delivering significant funding to improve infrastructure.
“In future, I look forward to the River Severn remaining a haven for wildlife, an essential transport route, a great place for leisure activities and a vital source of water for people living and working in its catchment.”