Abstraction

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An environmental group has threatened legal action against environment minister Rebecca Pow’s department for not dealing comprehensively with combined sewer overflows.
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Water companies from across the UK as well as supply partners, NGOs and academic groups have been awarded funding for 11 projects from the Ofwat Innovation Fund to tackle shared problems faced by the sector. See the full list as well as the thoughts of Ofwat's John Russell.
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Installing one million smart water meters each year could cut the UK's greenhouse gas emissions by 0.5 per cent over the next 15 years. The impact of smart water meters on reducing the UK’s carbon emissions has been calculated in a new report by Waterwise and Arqiva that suggests a nationwide rollout would save one billion litres of water daily.
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Thames Water is the first company in the country to undertake a mass rollout of smart water meters and has reached half a million installations. The firm said the programme has led to a reduction in leakage and greater consumer engagement with water efficiency.
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Last month Anglian expanded its Shop Window project, which aims to use the town of Newmarket as a live testbed for innovative solutions to the problems the water sector is facing now, and for the future. Utility Week chats to the driving forces behind the project.
Analysis

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Northumbrian Water has joined the UN-backed Race to Zero global campaign as it announced plans to achieve net zero carbon by 2027 - three years earlier than the industry-wide commitment. However, the target excludes process emissions, which make up half of the company's total greenhouse gases. 
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The public remain largely unaware of the responsibilities water companies and other stakeholders have to conserve the natural world, or of the work the sector undertakes. Most agreed environmental concerns should be more important than lowering bills or making services accessible.
News
The judging panel for the main competition within Ofwat's innovation fund has been named with eight people chosen from industry, academia, R&D and beyond the water sector. The competition is designed to encourage innovative ideas, collaboration and sharing of risk to develop projects.
News
The Environment Agency has proposed allowing water companies up to 25 years to deliver on environmental programmes and extending the timeframe for the Water Industry National Environmental Programme (WINEP) from five to ten years.
News
An Environment Agency report called for further research into how low quality rivers socially impact communities living closest to them. The urban environment report noted pollutants to waterways from surface run-off that would worsen as climate change becomes more extreme.
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Water UK's director of policy Stuart Colville tells Utility Week the government needs to match the water sector's ambition to meet demand management goals and to improve sewerage systems
Analysis
Thames Water has set up a fast-track pollution reporting system for members of the public to report incidents. The company said it would send a dedicated team to assess the situation within two hours.
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The highly anticipated news that Defra was introducing mandatory water efficiency labels was universally welcomed by the water industry, but what will it actually achieve? Utility Week speaks to the sector about the decision not to be equally ambitious on building regulations.
Analysis
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