Metrics and targets
Adaptation – delivering an improved service despite climate change
We have a number of key metrics and targets that demonstrate our capability of adapting to climate change and increasing the resilience of our service. These metrics and targets are focused on the corporate risks identified in our adaptation report that are most adversely impacted by climate change.
per capita consumption
reduction in supply interruptions
sludge treatment compliance
In order to release headroom in our water supply demand balance we have set short and long-term targets against key performance commitments. Our targets for reducing per capita consumption (how much customers use) and leakage will reduce the demand for water in all climate scenarios.
Per capita consumption: Household consumption has increased slightly over the last five years with the average person currently using around 140 litres per day. Our plan is to work with customers and stakeholders to reduce that figure to around 135 litres by 2025 and to around 115 litres by 2045. We have developed an AMP7 water efficiency programme, primarily aimed at reducing household consumption, and working with the non-household sector to drive water efficiency across the board.
Leakage: We have achieved our regulatory leakage target every year for 14 years. From 2015 to 2020, we have delivered a stable level of leakage and, by 2025, we plan to reduce leakage by 15 per cent. In the longer term, to 2045, we plan to reduce leakage by just over 40 per cent. In the last 12 months, we have installed around 44,000 noise monitoring devices (100,000 by 2025) to locate hidden leaks in the most challenging parts of our water network and enable overall reductions in leakage.
Water network failure
We have assessed our ability to maintain water supply to our customers, even in extreme weather events, and we have set improving targets for supply interruptions.
We have reduced interruptions to supply by nearly 40 per cent since 2015. Supported by Systems Thinking and the use of machine learning and artificial intelligence, we are targeting a further 50 per cent reduction by 2025, from a 2020 baseline.
Failure of the wastewater network
To reduce the impact of variations from future storm intensity and frequency on the performance of our wastewater network we are targeting significant reductions in sewer flooding.
We have set ourselves a target to reduce it by 20 per cent by 2025 and 70 per cent by 2045.
Failure to treat sludge
Climate change puts an additional strain on the treatment and recycling of sludge particularly with the flooding of farmland which is the outlet for recycled sludge (biosolids). By taking a Systems Thinking approach and managing our assets as a regional system we can mitigate for loss of treatment capacity by transporting the sludge to other treatment centres or by using capacity in the market.
To measure the success of this approach we set stringent targets for 100 per cent sludge treatment compliance with regulatory requirements and we have achieved this for five consecutive years.
In addition, and new for AMP7, we are targeting 100 per cent conformity to best practice requirements set out by the national Biosolids Assurance Scheme.
Failure to treat wastewater (exceedance of permits)
The impact on climate change can affect the wastewater treatment process in a number of ways: prolonged dry periods can lead to septicity and rivers to run low; high rainfall intensity can cause high flows to be passed through to treatment facilities, outfalls to block and river banks to erode.
We have managed this risk through our treatment compliance metric which assesses our wastewater treatment compliance against environmental permits. Having delivered a stable level of service over AMP6 we are joint industry leaders in the Environment Agency's Environmental Performance Assessment across AMP6 and achieved 4 star status for three consecutive years.
We are striving to meet 100 per cent level of compliance for this measure in AMP7.
Failure of wastewater assets (serious pollution)
Pollution incidents can occur when the sewer system becomes overwhelmed and it overflows into the nearby watercourse.
Despite the upward pressure from climate change, since 2012 we have achieved 37 per cent reduction in the total number of pollution incidents (category 1, 2 and 3) and an industry-leading position for serious pollution incidents (category 1 and 2).
We have set targets to reduce the number of pollution incidents by a further 27 per cent by the end of AMP7.
Key energy and carbon metrics 2019/20