27th March 2024

Ground-breaking Water Strategy to safeguard Essex’s future is unveiled
New Essex Water Strategy outlines recommendations to address the challenges county faces.

The first ever water strategy for Essex has been launched today at the Essex County Council Spring Climate Summit.

The strategy has been developed by the council in partnership with Water Resources East, water companies, regulators, farmers, environmental groups, and other interested parties. It outlines the current and future water issues facing Essex.

Essex is a seriously water-stressed area, with high demand, low rainfall, and poor water quality. Climate change and population growth are expected to worsen the situation, leading to water shortages, restrictions and impacts on the environment.

The strategy identifies the roles and responsibilities of various organisations involved in water management and highlights the need for change across three core areas.

These are:

  • reduce our demand for water
  • change land use to work with nature, increasing natural green infrastructure
  • develop new sources of water supply, such as reservoirs and through desalination

There are 30 recommendations put forward in the strategy that aim to help safeguard Essex’s water.

The Essex Water Strategy calls for greater collaboration across all parties to deliver its recommendations and achieve the national targets for clean and plentiful water.

Alongside the strategy, the council has worked in partnership with the Young Essex Assembly to create the Essex Water – Your Future online explorer. This tool includes videos explaining the water challenges in Essex and solutions suggested in the Essex Water Strategy.

Councillor Peter Schwier, Climate Czar and Cabinet Member for Environment, Waste Reduction and Recycling, said: “Water is essential for our people, economy, and environment, but it is a resource at risk if we do not make changes.

“This strategy sets out a clear vision and roadmap for how we can protect and enhance our precious water resources, so that we can continue to enjoy the vital benefits that flow from it well into the future.

“We urge all our partners and residents to join us in this endeavour and help us make Essex a water-wise county.”

Read the Water Strategy for Essex in full.

Water Strategy for Essex March 2024