The Environment Agency’s decision to change three of our abstraction licences was the subject of a Public Inquiry held in March 2018.
Our case at the Inquiry focused on the timing of the licence changes as alternative supplies must to be developed to ensure customers’ supplies were not put at risk by the changes.
Ahead of the Inquiry, we reached an agreement with the Environment Agency that we would accept the licence changes provided there was an agreed mechanism to safeguard customers’ water supplies.
We agreed to use drought orders and permits until the long-term permanent solutions are complete. Drought orders and permits allow us to continue to take water from the Test if the new abstraction limits are reached – maintaining customers’ supplies.
The agreement included a commitment to provide environmental protection and resilience to the Test and Itchen rivers and the Candover stream via a package of monitoring, mitigation and compensation measures.
The Secretary of State subsequently approved the Inquiry’s recommendations.
All the Inquiry documents, are available on the following website.