South West Info
The South West RBD landscape covers over 21,000 sq km and is predominantly rural, but it also includes the urban areas of Exeter, Plymouth, Torquay, Bournemouth and Poole (the last three having populations over 250,000). The total population is almost 3 million with a high proportion living in rural areas when compared to other parts of the country. The economy is dominated by the service sector and the popularity of the South West as a holiday destination makes tourism a significant contributor. The resulting seasonal fluctuations in population bring challenges for managing our water resources. Although agriculture is relatively less important to the economy overall, it is the most important sector in many rural areas and is also a major influence on the water environment.