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Water companies and environmental approaches

1 December 2013 - 7 July 2014

Awarded to: Dr  Ruth Welters

Co-investigators: Professor Brett Day

Research partners: Water companies

Funding awarded to Exeter £ 18,000

Sponsor(s): NERC

About the project

This project was to explore research collaboration between the University and UK water companies and to understand the water company's interests in the payments for ecosystem services approach for improved water quality.

Following from the success of the auction for water pollution reduction in the River Fowey with South West Water, the aim of the project was to establish research collaborations and to implement the payments for ecosystem services approach with water companies across the UK.

The project drew on existing links with UK water companies (e.g. Anglia Water, United Utilities and Severn Trent) to explore with companies their approach to water quality improvement (as encouraged in Ofwat Price Review 14) and understand their needs for research and evidence and to highlight the benefits of PES schemes.

For companies with an interest in implementing a similar scheme to the SWW Fowey auction, the University would work to provide the expertise required to design and implement such schemes, tailored to the requirements of the area.

In addition to strengthening links between NERC research and the business community the project could have significant economic and environmental impact leading to savings on water treatment costs for the companies and their customers and improved river water quality across the UK.