Meeting environmental targets and cutting the use of combined sewer overflows have been outlined as key priorities for Ofwat to incentivise in the next price review.
Defra has instructed the regulator to make environmental planning and pollution reduction top objectives, in its draft strategic policy statement (SPS) for PR24 and beyond.
Utility Week hears initial thoughts from the water sector on the first draft of Defra’s strategic policy statement to Ofwat, with commentators warning that it lacks the detail required to trigger the investment needed at PR24 if the government is serious about tackling river pollution and decarbonisation.
Portsmouth has begun a smart meter trial ahead of a wider rollout during AMP8. Water efficiency manager Lianne Riggs told Utility Week customers are less interested in saving money because bills are low but environmental messages do resonate.
Affinity Water will measure and report on its non-operational emissions from next year as it sets out plans to be carbon negative for scopes one two and three emissions by 2030. Nature-based solutions and developing a blue carbon finance framework are included in the plans.
Affinity Water has issued its first green bond to the value of £130 million to fund projects that will improve the environment as the company works to improve biodiversity and energy efficiency, reduce and prevent pollution, and improve the sustainability of water supplies.
Portsmouth Water will shortly begin work to clear the site for the UK’s first new reservoir in three decades after being given the final go-ahead by planning authorities. The Havant Thicket reservoir is being built in partnership with Southern Water, which is funding the project, to protect chalk streams in Hampshire by providing an alternative, sustainable source of water for the South East.
Affinity Water and Thames Water have launched a new framework for measuring the health of chalk streams that will be used to identify problems and plan interventions. The assessment framework, which includes a set of chalk stream health metrics, will be piloted in the River Chess catchment area.
Water UK has proposed new legislation to protect and enhance the health of rivers to fix loopholes in current legislation and remove any barriers to innovation - especially in the form of nature based solutions. In a new manifesto, the trade body also called for swift action on CSOs, abstraction and bathing water.
Projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions during wastewater treatment, minimise harm to waterways, and an at-scale water neutrality scheme are among the winners of Ofwat's £35 million innovation fund to encourage collaboration on common challenges in the sector.
Wessex and SES Water have each joined the UN-backed Race to Zero to halve global emissions by 2030. SES has set out its demand-led net zero plan that will see all customers migrated to a smart water meter and abstraction reduced by 25 per cent
Severn Trent has unveiled a project that will add up to 95 megalitres of water each day to its supply network to protect against threats of scarcity. The water will be sourced, moved and treated with a low-carbon approach as part of the company's efforts to reach net zero by 2030.
Thames Water has set out its plans to improve flow and water quality from chalk streams in its region by upgrading sewage treatment works, installing monitoring equipment, cutting abstraction and working with local groups to restore and enhance waterways.
Anglian Water broke ground last month on one of the largest infrastructure projects the water sector has ever seen, which seeks to connect the east of England north to south to transport water. More than 500km of pipe will move supplies from areas of surplus to some of the driest parts of the region. Anglian's chief executive, Peter Simpson, speaks to Utility Week about the landmark project.