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Government confirms planning permission for London desalination plant

Thames Water said that security of London's future water supplies is more certain today after the government confirmed it has granted planning permission for the Thames Gateway Desalination Plant in Beckton.
The announcement by the secretaries of state for the department for the Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), and the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG), followed a legal undertaking by Thames Water agreeing not to operate the plant until it has entered into an operating agreement with the Environment Agency.Thames Water has confirmed that the plant will only be used during times of drought or extended periods of low rainfall, or to maintain supplies in the event of an incident at its other water treatment facilities.The plant is the first of its kind to be built in the UK and will be able to provide up to 140 million litres of drinking water a day - enough for nearly one million people.Thames Water director of external affairs and sustainability Richard Aylard said: 'This is good news for our customers. The desalination plant is a vital part of our plans to secure future water supplies to the capital.'This plant is essential alongside our continuing progress in reducing leakage and proposals for a new reservoir in Oxfordshire.'

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