MP unveils new Southern Water project
Arundel & South Downs MP Nick Herbert raised a toast with a glass of tap water when he officially opened a new source of water supply on the River Arun near Pulborough on Friday (11 March).
The MP was invited to Southern Water's newly completed Hardham Water Resource Project and unveiled a plaque to commemorate the occasion.
The £10 million tidal abstraction scheme will ensure supplies to Sussex customers, particularly in times of drought.
The project has included the construction of a reservoir, a pumping station at Hardham Church Farm, and the installation of a 1.8km pipeline. It creates a new source able to provide 10 million litres of water per day in the summer.
Water will be drawn from the River Arun at its tidal point, during the six hour ebb of the tide. It will be stored in the new reservoir, and when needed, will be pumped to Hardham Water Supply Works where it will be treated.
To celebrate the completion of the scheme, Nick joined Southern Water's Chief Executive Matthew Wright and representatives from West Sussex County Council, RSPB South East and Pulborough Parish Council at the treatment works. Nick saw a presentation on how the development progressed over the 12 months, resulting in an unobtrusive reservoir site next to the river Arun.
The work, which took 12 months, was carried out by Barhale Trant Utilities (BTU) on behalf of Southern Water.
Mr Herbert commented: "I was delighted to open this new facility which will help to ensure that the people of West Sussex are supplied with water. Having been very concerned about shortage of supplies a few years ago in the drought, I am pleased to see future demands being addressed.
"Pumping out of rivers can't be the only remedy, however. Meters, water conservation measures and innovative ways to share water resources are the solutions of the future. But this abstraction has been approved by the Environment Agency and so I hope that it will not be damaging to the Arun valley's important wetlands and wildlife, which must be conserved."
Meyrick Gough, Southern Water's Water Strategy Manager, said: "This area of Sussex has been identified as the most water stressed area in the southern region, with demand for water predicted to exceed supply at times, during droughts, in the future. This new water source will help us deal with this issue".
Notes for Editors
1. For further details about the scheme, visit www.southernwater.co.uk/Environment/inYourArea/Sussex