Businesses are being asked for their views on how best to tackle ‘water stress’ in the Greater Brighton region.

Population growth, new housing and climate change are among a range of challenges that need to be addressed to make sure there is still enough water for all in the future, as well as prevent flooding and protect and improve the environment.

The Greater Brighton region, an economic and inward investment area stretching from Crawley to the coast and Worthing across to Newhaven, has established an Infrastructure Panel to look at sustainable water and energy for the future.

As part of its work to deliver a dedicated Greater Brighton water plan, the Panel has launched an online survey to capture the business community’s feedback on this key strategic issue. The research will also include the opportunity for organisations to volunteer to take part in a more in-depth discussion.

Among the questions to asked will be the following:

  • How important is water to your business?
  • How would your business be affected by a lack of water supply, lack of wastewater disposal capacity, flooding and bills becoming more expensive?
  • How important a factor is water to your business, compared to issues like energy, telecommunications, transport and recruitment?

The answers from the survey will feed into the Panel’s discussions, with a report back to the Greater Brighton Economic Board on recommended next steps due next year.

Representatives from companies such as Ricardo and IBM, the Universities of Sussex and Brighton, local authorities and bodies like the Environment Agency, South East Water and UK Power Networks have joined the Greater Brighton Panel under the chairmanship of Southern Water Chief Executive, Ian McAulay.

Ian, pictured right, said: “We need to make sure we build a resilient future for water and energy to allow us to continue grow the economy locally. To do that, it is vital we start to plan around some of the issues which will arise and that is why it is important to have businesses and the wider public engaged in this issue.

“Answers from local firms, of all sizes, will give us a richer picture of where our priorities should be. So I would urge everyone to spend a just few minutes to give us their views.”

The Greater Brighton Water Plan business survey can be found by clicking here. The survey is open until Monday 5 November 2018.