Southern Water Annual Report and Financial Statements 2021–22



Our strategic

Our long-term priorities inform both our current five-year strategy and openness
and plans for the next business plan period

In our Water for Life Business Plan 2020–25 we outlined six long-term outcomes that would deliver a step change in the way we deliver our services.

They outlined the collaborative action we intended to take with customers and stakeholders to co-create a preferred, shared future for water in the region. These outcomes emerged from talking to our stakeholders, but also from regulatory expectations and operational imperatives. They included a focus on: recycling; clean rivers and coasts; collaborating to sustain the economy of the South East; innovating to create sustainable communities, and helping our customers recognise the value of water in their daily lives.

These outcomes have evolved in line with the expectations and needs of our customers, communities and the environment. The long-term priorities discussed below have been shared with our stakeholders and will help inform our plans for the next price review (PR24), as well as helping us achieve our vision of a resilient water future. To read more visit our consultation hub:

Our purpose is to provide water for life to

enhance health and wellbeing

protect and improve the environment

sustain the economy

Current trends

  • Growing population
  • Changing shape of communities
  • Evolving customer expectations and attitudes
  • Increasing use of technology
  • Rising concerns over the environment
  • Climate emergency


  • Water scarcity
  • Increased flooding
  • Affordability
  • Meeting customers’ expectations
  • Decarbonisation


  • Collaboration
  • Technology and innovation
  • Resilience

Key priorities

  • Understanding and supporting our customers and communities
  • Ensuring a reliable supply of high-quality water for the future
  • Protecting and improving the environment
  • Enabling and empowering our people

Underpinned by our values

Our vision, purpose and values, alongside ethical decision-making and modern compliance frameworks, help our leadership team, employees and partners make better decisions every day.


Doing the
right thing


Our current delivery strategy to 2025

Deliver great service

We are focused on delivering a great customer experience. This means resolving customer issues quickly and delivering clean, safe water, through a reliable, future-proof network, at a price that everyone can afford. We will achieve this by installing new water mains, and refurbishing our treatment works to cut supply disruptions and deliver the clean, wholesome water we all need.

Use water wisely

We are investing more than ever in new technology to find and fix leaks on our network while we continue to upgrade and replace our mains. We are working with local authorities and developers to encourage the building of water-neutral homes that use the latest water-efficient technology. Our focus on reaching Target 100 by 2040 means we will continue to work with community partners, local businesses and customers to collectively reduce our water use.

Protect and improve the environment

We know we need to go beyond doing no harm to our environment and look to improve and enhance it where we can. To 2025 we are investing close to £1 billion in improvements that will deliver environmental benefits to the region’s rivers and bathing waters, while reducing flood risk, cutting our carbon footprint, and supporting schemes that improve the biodiversity of the South East. We continue to transform our sewer network, using smart technologies to predict and prevent sewer blockages and burst pipes.

Fit for the future

Our regional water resource and drainage plans are developed looking out to 2050. We do this so we can ensure future generations enjoy the same access to water and wastewater services in the years to come as we do today. Our region is water stressed and climate change is only going to make it increasingly difficult to supply the water we all need. That is why we are already working in partnership with other organisations and experts – through collaborations such as Water Resources South East (WRSE) – to start building a regional water resource management plan. We also continue to generate biogas and green energy at our wastewater treatment sites.