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A secure and sustainable water supply

Water is essential for everyone. Every day we turn on our taps to fill glasses of water, make cups of tea, wash, cook and clean. We rely on water to run our schools, hospitals and businesses – not just ones we usually associate with water, like car washes and hairdressers, but every industry. It’s also essential for a healthy environment and a prosperous economy.

Many people think there’s plenty of water in the UK, but the South East of England is one of its driest regions and London gets less rain than Rome, Istanbul and even Sydney. The water resources we rely on are under pressure, and this is increasing all the time. We must find ways to adapt to our changing climate, supply water to more people as our population grows and reduce the amount of water we take from our rivers to protect the environment.

Developing a plan for the South East region

We’re working with Water Resources South East (WRSE), and neighbouring water companies, to coordinate a regional response to the water security challenge we face. Meeting the challenge requires a joined up approach. This collaborative approach has allowed us to take a fresh look at the challenge and how best to solve it, looking beyond the boundaries of the individual water companies to identify options that'll provide resilient supplies more efficiently and provide wider benefits to communities across the region. Find out more about WRSE and the draft South East regional plan.

Water resources management plan 2024

Our Water resources management plan 2024 (WRMP24) builds on our current plan (WRMP19) and reflects the South East regional plan. It sets out how we'll keep taps flowing over the next 50 years, looking ahead to 2075.

Our WRMP24 highlights the significant future shortfall in water resources in our supply area and the actions we plan to take to maintain the balance between water supply and demand. It sets out how we’re going to tackle leaks, make every drop count and invest in new water infrastructure. We must make bold decisions and act now to ensure we have the water we need for generations to come.

We published our draft WRMP24 for consultation between 13 December 2022 and 21 March 2023. We’d like to thank everyone who took the time to provide feedback. Since the close of the consultation we:

  • Read the responses received from stakeholders and customers
  • Incorporated new requirements from government and regulators
  • Updated information about individual schemes such as costs, delivery dates and environmental information
  • Worked with the other water companies across the South East to undertake further work on the draft plan for the whole region, and in turn the draft plan for our area.

In August 2023, we published our Statement of response. This report sets out our consideration of the feedback we received, and changes made to our draft plan in response. We included these changes within our revised draft WRMP24. This has also been published.

You can read our Statement of response and revised draft WRMP24 in the links below. Visit our WRMP website to learn about our proposals to future proof water supply for our customers, while benefitting the environment. 

Revised draft WRMP24

Strategic solutions

The scale of the water resources challenge means we need to take a strategic approach to planning our future water supply. We’ve been working closely with other water companies to look at options that could provide a large volume of water for more than one water company to use. These options are called strategic resource options (SROs).

We’ve worked collaboratively to explore potential solutions including water transfers, water recycling and a new reservoir. Find out more about SROs.

On the rest of this page you can learn about:

  • Our current Water Resources Management Plan 2019, which sets out how we plan to provide a secure and sustainable water supply for our customers
  • Progress in delivering the commitments made in our 2019 Plan
  • Information on the water market and the bid assessment process if you have suggestions for new solutions or ways to manage our current water more effectively 

Our current Water Resources Management Plan (WRMP19)

Water companies are required to produce a Water Resources Management Plan (WRMP) every five years which sets out how the company intends to provide a secure and sustainable supply of water to their customers, whilst protecting the environment.

In April 2020, following approval from the government, we published our Water Resources Management Plan 2019 (WRMP19) which sets out how we planned to provide a secure and sustainable water supply for the 80-year period from 2020 to 2100.

An update on our performance

We monitor and report on performance against the commitments set out in WRMP19 including leakage reduction and development of new water sources, as well as information on the work to develop a multi-sector resilience plan for the south east region. The annual report for the period from 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023 is available to download.

Proposing new options

If you'd like to suggest a new solution to provide water or a way to manage our current water more effectively, please read the market information and the bid assessment process.

Water Resources Market Information

In line with Ofwat’s Water Resources Market Information guidance, the information below has been provided to enable third parties to begin to identify opportunities and put forward proposals to us to supply water resources, or provide demand management or leakage services.

We've provided information on key market factors plus our water resources position for each of the six water resource zones (WRZ) in our supply area. This information is in industry-standardised spreadsheets, for the dry year annual average (DYAA) and dry year critical period scenario (DYCP), using templates provided by Ofwat.

The information provided should help third parties to identify where to look for opportunities. However, it is really important that you come and talk to us about your proposal, as our network and the way we provide services to our customers is subject to a range of factors that can change how beneficial opportunities may be or how, when and where we might be able to use them. If you are interested in pursuing any commercial opportunities arising from this information, please view our Bid Assessment Framework below for further information.

Recent guidance from Ofwat required a partial update of the tables. We'll provide a full and comprehensive update at a later date.  

Major changes from our WRMP19 tables are in the columns for 2020/21 and 2021/22 data in Tables 5, 6 and 7.  The values from WRMP19 have been overwritten with figures from our annual reporting. 

We've made minor changes to the cover sheet, changelog and Table 8 in each file. This is to reflect the current position of WRMP19 schemes. 

Please note that the WRMI tables published here align with WRMP19 methods and data. This means they won't match with draft WRMP24 methods or data published recently. Also, some WRMP Table references have changed between WRMP19 and WRMP24. The WRMI table references will still refer to WRMP19 row references. 

Our Trading and Procurement Code

The Trading and Procurement Code sets out how we approach water trading, setting out the policies, principles and requirements that will apply when we trade with appointed water companies and other service providers.

Bid Assessment Framework

Encouraging third parties to submit bids for solutions covering water resources, demand management and leakage services that create value for customers is very important to us. These solutions will help us meet our future water needs, as identified in our Water Resources Management Plan, and benefit our current and future customers. Our Bid Assessment Framework (BAF) will provide clarity to third parties on the process that we will apply and how bids will be assessed in line with our key principles of transparency, equal treatment, non-discrimination and proportionality.

We already publish information for third parties, and it is important that the BAF is read in conjunction with our Network Access Code, Water Resources Market Information, Trading and Procurement Code and Water Resources Management Plan. Details of how to access these can be found within the BAF.

To accompany this statement, we have released a Periodic Indicative Notice (or PIN) via the UK Find a Tender service which outlines the process for third parties to engage with us to offer solutions as part of the WRMP24 process.

Third parties looking to offer solutions to Thames Water as part of the WRMP24 process should contact us to register their interest by email.

Suppliers will need to provide the following in their email:

  • Project applying for (Title and Reference Number as stated in section II.1.1 of the PIN – for WRMP24, this is 1484 WRMP24 – BAF).
  • Company name.
  • 2 x Contact names.
  • 2 x Contact phone numbers.
  • 2 x Email addresses.
  • Whether you are proposing a water supply or demand management/leakage services solution.

Third parties may contact Thames Water at the above address at any time to register their interest, however the proposal may at Thames Water’s discretion be considered for inclusion within the WRMP29 process rather than the WRMP24 process, depending on the point in the process at which the proposal is received. Proposals which are clearly beneficial, robust and which are smaller in terms of volume of water delivered (Ml/d) are more likely to be considered for inclusion in our programme sooner in the planning process.

On registering their interest, third parties will be registered on Thames Water’s IASTA SmartSource portal within two weeks and provided access to complete an initial pre-qualification (PQQ1) survey.

Should third parties feel that Thames Water has not followed the BAF during a bid assessment process, they may at any time submit a complaint by emailing a copy of the bid assessment framework complaint form with the subject line “BAF Complaint”. Complaints will be considered in accordance with the complaints process detailed in Section F of the BAF.

Third parties are welcome to share any feedback they have on our BAF process by email using our bid assessment framework feedback form.