Drainage and Wastewater Management Plan 2023
We have published our first Drainage and Wastewater Management Plan ‘the Plan’ (DWMP). This is a foundation for long term planning of drainage and wastewater services.
The Plan aims to deliver the best outcomes for the environment we all share and prioritises our valued customers. Your feedback is helping us to shape the Plan and develop long-term solutions to benefit everyone.
We have included links to all the DWMP documents, including the full Plan, at the bottom of this webpage.
The DWMP Customer Research Journey
The DWMP is a customer-driven plan focused on tackling the future challenges of population growth, urban creep and climate change on our drainage and wastewater systems from 2025 to 2050.
The DWMP is a long-term planning study which looks at drainage and sewerage needs over the next 25 years. The Plan looks at future trends and embeds an approach of working together with others to investigate and identify options for the sustainable management of our wastewater services.
The Plan assesses the level of risk we face from climate change, urban development, and a changing population. It looks 25 years into the future, as a minimum, with the current Plan covering how we will deal with challenges between 2025 to 2050.
We have produced the Plan and two summaries:
All DWMP documents have been approved through the DWMP’s internal governance and assurance process. This follows a series of review and sign-off steps shown below:
Welsh Water’s challenge groups are made up of experts from Welsh Water and other organisations. This allows us to get views from customers and those who plan and manage infrastructure, flood risk and the water environment. These groups are existing forums and part of our wider governance.
All documents were approved at each stage, with final sign-off by the Glas Cymru Board.
This is shown in the Board Assurance Statement.
The Plan is customer driven; we consulted with you on our draft Plan from July to October 2022. Your feedback is being used to shape the final DWMP and how we plan to achieve our end goals to benefit customers and the environment in an affordable way.
The Statement of Response provides information on our stakeholder consultation and the responses we received. The consultation findings provided us with lots of valuable information on how we can make the Plan easier to understand, whilst also helping us shape and develop future versions.
We have combined our Welsh Water 2050 strategic responses, national planning objectives and feedback from customers and stakeholders into three high level planning themes:
- Water quantity - Reducing the risk of flooding to communities
- Water quality - Improving water quality for the environment
- Resilience and maintenance - Making sure we can adapt to changes in the future, whilst also maintaining important services and protecting the environment
Our overall goal is to ensure that we can achieve the expected level of service in the areas we operate.
This means we will work towards the proposed Customer and Environmental destinations:
- Customer Destination – This is a time in the future when customers will not have flooding from sewage inside their home due to a lack of sewer network capacity.
- Environmental Destination – This is a time in the future when our rivers and coastal waters receive treated flows from a sewerage system only when this is necessary to protect their biodiversity and ecology.
We have proposed the following stages to achieve our environmental and customer destinations:
- We start with the worst problems and focus on fixing them first.
- We then move onto the ‘next worst’ problems until the point at which we have addressed all the identified problems.
We have looked at current and future risks, their causes, and identified areas where we want to work with our stakeholders.
The DWMP process has allowed us to look at the consequences of increasing rainfall and sewage now, and in the future. We can also look at the risk of flooding and pollution, and how this will increase over time causing capacity issues.
To find out more about collaborative working, please download our ‘Where we want to work with you’ document, which details our vision for future joint working.
This focused on the development of solutions to address risks, uncertainty, and objectives. We have looked at the following as part of the option development process:
Overall, our approach looks at different options in terms of:
- Their cost
- The likely impact on flooding and pollution
- Wider benefits for people, nature, and the environment
We have worked closely with our customer challenge group, and independent environmental advisory group, as part of this process.
We take the preferred solutions and look at different programmes and timescales to implement them.
We bring all the best value options together into a Plan over time. We take the preferred solutions and look at when risks are likely to happen. We can then create a programme of work which looks to address the current risks first, followed by those that bring greater environmental and social benefit.
The short-term programme is then packaged up and presented to our financial regulator for assessment. More detail can be found in our latest business plan.
We have summarised the information within the plan into 13 reports. These include the risks and options specific to that area.
Within each report, the information has been broken down further into tactical planning areas. You can use the links below to access the area summaries for where you are:
We have embedded the principles of the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) and Habitat Regulation Assessment (HRA) early in the Plan development process.
Only those options which have a positive impact on the environment have been taken forward for consideration in our Plan.
Those identified with possible negative impacts are reviewed again to understand whether the solutions can be adjusted and, if not, an alternative solution is put forward.
These schemes then make up the first DWMP programme of work.
You can access the SEA and HRA documents at the links below:
We have been updating our stakeholders and customers at every stage of the Plan:
- Strategic Context
- Risk Assessment
- Options Development
- Programme Appraisal
We are continuing our work with stakeholders and customers to:
- Review progress against the Plan
- Develop the next version of the Plan
- Deliver options
We are developing joint working groups made up of Strategic Management Forums, Programme Boards and Community Project Boards. These help us to identify, plan, fund and execute DWMP projects.
We’ve put together an e-learning tool which will help you learn more about the DWMP in a fun and interactive way. We want to give you enough information so that you can contribute to the Plan (now and in the future) and the development of solutions.
You can find our e-learning site here, where you can learn more about:
- What the DWMP is
- The history of drainage and wastewater management
- Future challenges
- How to get involved in shaping the DWMP
We are committed to developing the DWMP: it will help us work towards our Welsh Water 2050 vision to earn the trust of our customers every day and achieve our mission of becoming a truly world-class, resilient, and sustainable service for the benefit of future generations.
Drainage and Wastewater Management Plans are being produced industry-wide in England and Wales and are based on the framework developed on behalf of Water UK – the Water UK DWMP.
What planning areas does the DWMP cover?
Level 1 – Company Operational Level
All communities of England and Wales that form one operating area where we manage drainage and wastewater systems.
Level 2 - Strategic Planning Units
Subdivision of the operational area by Major River Catchments. There are 13 in total.
Level 3 - Tactical Planning units
A further subdivision of the operational area into tributaries of river catchments within a Major River Catchment. There are 106 in total.
Level 4 – Local Planning Areas
A single wastewater treatment catchment including areas of sewer, and other assets, that drain to a wastewater treatment works. The number of wastewater treatments works are reducing over time, with around 830 currently in operation.
Each Level 4 Local Planning Area is allocated to one level 3 Tactical Planning Unit. Each Level 3 Tactical Planning Unit is combined with each Level 2 Strategic Planning Unit and all Level 2 layers make up the company operating level.
How to get in touch
We want to hear from you! Please contact us at DWMP@dwrcymru.com if you would like more information or if you would like to arrange a virtual meeting.