Controversy surrounds new €694 million UK desalination plant
Southern Water’s Ashlett Creek facility, near the New Forest, aims to convert 75 million litres of seawater a day into drinking water.
The plan will include the building of a 25km pipeline from Ashlett to Testwood Lakes in Totton.
But the scheme has been criticised by the New Forest District Council and the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust.
Southern Water said the new pumping station will comprise large buildings, tanks and infrastructure to house the stages of treatment as well as store the treated drinking water.
The council’s report on the new project stated: "Desalination at Fawley is a high carbon footprint, high environmental impact and high risk water supply option that NFDC should not support.
“The proposed desalination plant and its pipeline would have very significant environmental implications for internationally-designated habitats in the Solent, and on the New Forest National Park landscape.”
People living in the Fawley area have launched an online petition that has already been signed by more than 1,500 people.
Southern Water has defended the scheme and has argued it would safeguard against water shortages.