Lincolnshire

Lincolnshire water grid plan 'to reduce drought risk'

Elsham water plant Image copyright Geograph / Ian S
Image caption The proposed pipeline would run from Elsham water works across the county to south Lincolnshire

A major pipeline could be built in Lincolnshire to improve water supplies across the county.

The proposal is part of a planned £800m of investment by Anglian Water to reduce the risk of drought.

The utility company said it would form part of a "Strategic Grid" of new pipes to move drinking water around the region.

In 2011, a drought was declared in the county with restrictions put in place on water usage.

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If approved, the pipe would run from the water treatment works at Elsham, near Scunthorpe, to south Lincolnshire.

Additional plans include investing £180m in installing smart meters which Anglian Water said would "tackle leakage and help customers become more water efficient".

Water meters are seen as a way of encouraging people to conserve water, with the Environment Agency calling for all homes in "water-stressed" areas to have meters by 2020.

However, in areas where water meters have been extensively installed, a third of consumers have seen their bills rise.

Jean Spencer, Anglian Water's director for growth and resilience, said: "Ensuring we have enough fresh water for the future is the biggest challenge we face.

"Our draft plan sets out how we make the best use of the water we already have but also what measures we need to put in place now to become more resilient to severe drought and the impacts of climate change in the future."

The firm has started a public consultation about the plans. If approved, work is expected to start in 2020.

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