Accelerated gate one submissions and final decisions

The Regulators Alliance for Progressing Infrastructure Development (RAPID) received submissions for four potential strategic regional water resource solutions on 28 September 2020.

With water shortages forecast to be most acute in the South and South East of England, the solutions put forward by Southern are intended to address its very urgent need to plug the gap between supply and demand, and to end the use of drought permits and orders to keep taps running in all but the most extreme drought events by the end of 2027.

The solutions received additional funding in Ofwat’s most recent price review (PR19), to help accelerate their development in response to the challenge of ensuring water resource supplies are resilient while protecting the environment and benefiting wider society. This funding is subject to a gated process to provide regular checks on progress in developing these solutions and to determine whether they should continue to receive additional support.

The final decisions made by Ofwat are as follows:

Desalination proposed by Southern Water

Water recycling proposed by Southern Water

West Country North Sources proposed by Southern Bristol and Wessex

New proposal

In addition, Southern Water submitted a new proposal for a raw water transfer from Portsmouth Water’s proposed Havant Thicket reservoir to its Otterbourne Water Treatment Works. This solution could provide up to 61 million litres per day of additional water.

This new proposal, was subjected to additional assessment to determine whether it should be added to the existing programme and receive additional funding.

Havant Thicket raw water transfer proposed by Southern Water


The Southern Water ‘Strategic Solution Gate 1 Priority Actions: Remediation Action Plan‘ is a response document, which sets out the work that Southern Water has undertaken to address priority actions that were identified at gate one. This will be assessed at the same time as we carry out the accelerated gate two assessments.​

Further information

RAPID conducted the assessment of all four submissions according to its published guidance and provided its recommendations to Ofwat.

Ofwat wrote to Southern Water, Portsmouth Water, Wessex Water and Bristol Water to communicate its final decisions:

Letter to Southern Water

Letter to Bristol Water

Letter to Wessex Water

Letter to Portsmouth Water

An overview of the proposed solutions for Accelerated Gate One

Draft decisions

On 1 December 2020 Ofwat published its draft decisions:

Desalination (proposed by Southern Water)

Water recycling (proposed by Southern Water)

West Country North Sources (jointly proposed by Bristol Water, Wessex Water and Southern Water)

Additional solution, raw water transfer from Havant Thicket