Shropshire Star comment: Severn Trent's investment to improve supply must be applauded

Huge plans to invest in the region’s water supply are a breath of fresh air. Severn Trent wants to revolutionise the way it supplies our water and the hundreds of millions that it spends will speed up the region’s bounce-back from Covid-19.

Liv Garfield
Liv Garfield

As a further 2,500 employees join the payroll, we can look forward to the company changing the way it operates so that it can improve water supply, expedite the green recovery and improve the quality of our rivers.

The system of harnessing Mother Nature’s water supply and providing that life force into people’s homes is immense. We should not underestimate the work involved nor the size of the task.

There are many parts of the world that are not so fortunate, where people do not have immediate access to 24-hour drinking water, where sanitation is inadequate or where there is no money nor political will to protect the environment.

And so, for all of the faults that utility companies are criticised for, we start from a position of strength, which we must not take for granted.

Yet it is quite clear that we can do things better and that we can embrace more fully the environmental revolution that may be one of the drivers of our economic recovery as we navigate our way out of Covid.

Now is a time to reset, to do more to utilise green technologies and to reshape the way our economy is run. Severn Trent should be at the heart of that in this region by the very nature of the field in which it operates.

And so we must welcome its plans to be far-sighted and to look at ways in which it can improve the way it operates. Investing money on better systems, employing more staff at a time when so many have lost their jobs and reshaping the future is good news.

The company will continue to be held to account, of course, as a steely focus is maintained on other priorities, not least the need to repair leaks that waste millions of gallons each year. Yet now is a time for admiring the company’s ambition as it looks to invest hard cash into providing better services in a greener, cleaner way. This is a step forward for the region.

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