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Thames Water Rejects Funding for Initiative to Combat Pollution

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Refusing to pay to a combined £180 million expenditure meant to avoid sewage spills, Thames Water has caused uproar. The plan was unveiled earlier this week by the Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra), and many water firms, including Anglian, Severn Trent, and Southern, have committed millions to address the problem.

The government conveyed dismay to Thames Water over its decision to withdraw from the fund, but the firm stood by its position, pointing to expenditures made in substitute programs to improve efficiency and control emissions.

With £50 million, Anglian Water is the largest donor, followed by Severn Trent (£41 million), United Utilities (£39 million), Southern (£10 million), and Wessex (£8 million). Furthermore, Defra claims that additional investments have already been announced by Northumbrian and Yorkshire, among other water firms.

Steve Barclay, the environment secretary, stressed that the £180 million investment would support specialized workers in spill detection and mitigation as well as enable the implementation of cutting edge technologies, such as artificial intelligence.

The stance of Thames Water is under further scrutiny as data showed that over the previous year, the number of sewage discharges in the Thames quadrupled. The company reaffirmed its commitment to reducing pollution in spite of the criticism, citing planned improvements to multiple sewage treatment plants and sewers as well as current investments like the £4.5 billion Thames Tideaway Tunnel.

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