Water treatment

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NI Water has urged government to back its business plans that include opportunities for other stakeholders to utilise its infrastructure and resources to achieve shared climate change mitigation goals.
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Vodafone's head of innovation Danny Kelly tells Utility Week about its new software platform that he says will allow water companies to combine data from both new hardware and legacy assets to create smarter networks.
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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.
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Thames Water has set out plans to go beyond carbon net-zero goals with an ambition to enter carbon neutrality by 2040. The routemap highlights wastewater treatment as the area most in need of attention, but with opportunities included.
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South Staffs has secured government funding of £10 million under the Green Recovery Challenge that enabled it to upgrade its largest water treatment plant to a ceramic filtration system that will save around 1,000 tonnes carbon annually. The company plans to invest around £55 million upgrading two treatment works during AMP7.
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Anglian is tendering for partners under the direct procurement for customers (DPC) scheme to deliver a £100 million treatment plant as part of its transfer project to move water from north to south
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Ofwat has confirmed it will continue to provide ring-fenced funding for further development of four strategic regional water resource projects in England following their assessment by the Regulators Alliance for Progressing Infrastructure Development (RAPID). The regulator has issued its final decisions for the accelerated gate two of RAPID’s four gate development process for large-scale strategic schemes to provide resilient water supplies to drier parts of the country.
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The water sector has called for reforms to regulation to enable it to meet the challenges of supplying water in the face of climate change, population growth and aging infrastructure. Water UK chief executive Christine McGourty said: “Without urgent action there is a risk future generations will simply not have enough of this precious resource to go around.”
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The government has declared its support for further investment in sewerage systems in England and Wales in its response to the Environmental Audit Committee’s damning report on water quality in rivers. However, the committee's recommendations to address pollution from agriculture and homebuilding, which both play a significant role in preventing rivers from achieving good ecological status, were not accepted.
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Anglian and Severn Trent will help farmers across their regions to invest in regenerative farming practices that protect and enhance rivers with match funding, tree planting and access to green finance. The scheme is part of the two companies' Get River Fit commitments announced earlier this year
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Despite many people saying they are aware of the impact their household water habits can have on the environment, far fewer understand the specific effects and fewer still have modified their behaviour to benefit the environment. That is according to research by CCW that has coincided with the launch of Water's Worth Saving campaign coordinated by Water UK.
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Ofwat has proposed a new approach to monitoring and regulating operational resilience as it takes a longer-term view of sector-wide challenges. The regulator said this will include asking water companies to report on a series of new measures covering asset health, unplanned maintenance and equipment failures that will eventually be consolidated into an “integrated monitoring framework”.
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The second piece of collaborative work from Ofwat and CCW has revealed billpayer priorities that the regulator said would inform outcome delivery incentives for the 2024 price review. Consumers were most concerned about issues that impact them directly, and wider factors that will affect them sooner rather than further in the future.
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While most water customers are satisfied with the services from their supplier and sewerage companies, far fewer trust the sector to act in the best interest of communities or the environment, according to a new survey from Ofwat and CCW. The poll also suggested customers are more concerned with stopping sewage from entering water bodies, fixing leaks and preventing water shortages than keeping bills down or reducing carbon emissions.
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Severn Trent is planning to upgrade 25,000 customer-side pipes at the same time as it improves its own supply network in Coventry. The company is targeting leaky pipes and those made of lead to improve water quality and drive down leakage in the city.
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Finding ways to tackle the diffuse pollution from agricultural runoff that causes ecological damage to waterways and their biodiversity will be a key focus for the newly constituted Office for Environmental Protection, its chair has said.
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SES Water has earned its second biodiversity benchmark award from The Wildlife Trust for a supply site in Surrey. The company remains the only water company to attain the mark after it first gained one for a treatment site and aims qualify with a reservoir before the end of AMP7.
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