In 2001, the Environment Agency published ‘Water resources for the future—a strategy for England and Wales’. The strategy is used as part of the water resources planning carried out by the Environment Agency and water companies. It sets out pressures on water resources over the next 25 years and how the Environment Agency expects these to be managed. The publication considers both national and regional water resource strategies. Water companies’ water resource management plans complement these strategies. Each year the Environment Agency publishes annual reviews of actions taken under its strategy.
From 1 April 2007, water companies will have a statutory duty to prepare and maintain long-term water resources management plans. Ofwat, as part of the periodic review process, will consider companies’ business plans including investment in water infrastructure.