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Southern Water publishes 50 year plan as it faces up to ‘Jaws of Death’

It has taken them four years of planning but yesterday Southern Water published their plan of action to tackle environmental issues and solutions for drinking water.

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Using the words ‘Jaws of Death’ was always going to be concerning rhetoric when the Environment Agency Chief Executive Sir James Bevan made a speech earlier this year.

He was referring to the problems for water supply due to climate change and the ever increasing population growth.

But Southern Water has stepped forward and embraced the warning.

“Our analysis shows this is no exaggeration – the jaws of death are closing and when the teeth meet, it is this part of the country that will feel the bite.” says Nicholas Price, water resource planning manager at Southern Water.

But has it really come to this? Are we really in such a dramatic situation?

Price continues:

“With the UN’s COP25 meeting on climate change taking place in Madrid this week, the UN general secretary is warning that the point of no return is approaching.

Everything we do to our environment has to be considered in that light – local problems are part of a global problem.”

Price says that there is no single solution to ensuring tap water keeps flowing.

“Staying resilient is about behaviour change and looking after the resources we currently have as much as it is about us building new resources. We are committing to cutting leakage in half by 2050 and we are asking our customers to use water wisely. Every drop humans take out from the environment means less for nature,” he says.

An immediate challenge is faced in Hampshire where less water will be taken from the iconic chalk Test and Itchen river systems, especially when flows drop in summer or following a dry autumn and winter.

A ten year £800 million plan will see a raft of new measures including a reservoir to be built in collaboration with Portsmouth Water and in its supply area, pipelines across the region so we can move water about and a link to Bournemouth Water for a bulk supply.

Southern Water are also looking at building desalination plants and recycling water in the future.

Solutions such as desalination and water recycling plants may also be necessary in many other parts of our region.

Says Price: “There is no magic bullet for securing new water supplies – every alternative has its own environmental impacts. The most important thing is working together – us, our customers and neighbouring water companies must collaborate to ensure the environment thrives and taps keep flowing.”

Business

BREAKING NEWS: Sainsbury’s to close Crawley town centre store

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It has been an historic part of the town centre for decades, but now the supermarket on Queensway is to close its doors with the potential loss of jobs.

Image: Google Street View

Sainsbury’s says it has made the difficult decision after announcing it would close up to 15 supermarkets a year ago, pre-covid.

Sources close to the Crawley supermarket say that staff began finding out the news yesterday.

The supermarket said they would work with their staff at the site to try to find alternative roles within the firm.

A Sainsbury’s spokesperson speaking to Crawley News 24 said,

“We have updated colleagues on the difficult decision to close our Crawley store and we are doing everything we can to find alternative roles within Sainsbury’s for those affected.

“Customers can continue to shop with us online and at our nearby stores. For example, our West Green store is a short drive away.”

Whilst a date for the closure has not been announced, some sources say it could be as soon as January ’21.

Cllr Peter Smith Cabinet member for Planning and Economic said:

“I am sorry for the staff that will lose their jobs at this difficult time when most supermarkets are reporting improving profits.

We have had enquiries from other supermarkets looking for suitable sites who may recognise that there will shortly be an additional 2500 residential homes just a short walk away from this prestigious location. We will be doing all we can to help find a quality occupier as soon as we can.”

Crawley Councillor Francis Guidera said:

“It is tremendously saddening to read that one of the original major shops in the town centre is closing. A lot of housing provision is currently being created in the town centre area and there is an increasing, not decreasing need for food retailers in the town centre.

We haven’t even begun to knock down the administrative offices of the town hall which will be replaced by a huge apartment block, and they are still building the first apartment block on the former council car park as I type this! I genuinely hope that another food retailer grabs the huge opportunity to take on that store.”

The news comes just one after one of the most iconic town centre independent store, P&J Sweets also announced they were to close.

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