ANGLIAN Water could build a desalination plant in Holland-on-Sea as a last resort to ensure water supplies in Essex, it has been revealed.

The water supplier is considering desalination technology to make up a water shortage in Essex.

It comes following uncertainty on reduced groundwater abstraction by 2050.

Anglia Water says that desalination technology is being considered at Holland-on-Sea as a “last option”.

The firm anticipates that by 2050, central Essex will have 84 per cent less water available, with a forecast ten per cent increase in population in south Essex South.

Halstead, Ardleigh, Colchester, Tiptree and Braintree also face abstraction licence reductions, which means less water can be taken from sources if water falls below a specified level.

Across Essex, by 2050 there is set to be a shortage of nearly 150 million litres every single day if nothing is done.

Dr Geoff Darch head of supply-demand strategy at Anglia Water told the Essex Climate Action Commission that: “What we have been keen to do in our planning is not rush to desalination.

“If we do need to go to desalination, we are not going to put a spade in the ground until at least 2030.

“So we have the next four or five years to really think through what does a 21st-century desalination plant look like, on energy and how we deal with the waste streams and so on.”

He added: “The big unknown is how significantly we will have to reduce groundwater abstraction by 2050.

“That is about trying to realise the ecological benefits of leaving more water in the environment and assuming we don’t have an opportunity to re-abstract that further downstream.

“We are looking at that first before desalination. We are very much seeing desalination as a last option.

“If we end up with more significant reductions than we are anticipating we will consider it.”

Mablethorpe, in Lincolnshire, Caister-on-Sea, in Norfolk, and Felixstowe, in Suffolk, are also under consideration for desalination plants.