Strategic Response 1
Safeguarding clean drinking water through catchment management
Catchments as a first line of defence: we will face increased levels of pesticides, fertilisers, nutrients and pathogens in raw water, and increased turbidity of water reaching our water treatment works due to the intensification of agriculture and greater intensity of storms. We will co-create an extensive, innovative programme of catchment management with landowners and partners.
SR1 - Safeguarding clean drinking water through catchment management with Phillipa Pearson
We propose to address the risk to raw water quality by undertaking a programme of catchment management starting with high risk catchments. In each catchment, interventions will include:
• Creating an integrated programme at catchment scale, encompassing stakeholders, to co-ordinate and realise the full benefits of multiple catchment interventions;
• Influencing land management and land use practices through co-operative stakeholder engagement and regulatory interventions, including General Binding Rules (GBRs), as well as the creation of payment incentive mechanisms (for example, payment for ecosystems services);
• Controlling land management through targeted land purchase of priority or high risk land; and
• Recognise the uncertainly associated with a post-EU legislative environment around agriculture and the environment, and work flexibly within this new framework.
Welsh Water will explore the following
research topics to support this initiative:
• Mitigation of the formation of taste and odour-causing compounds (for example, due to algal growth);
• Chemical free treatment processes, for example, through catalysis;
• Disinfection by-products and their removal;
• Innovative solutions for reducing the risk from cryptosporidium in a catchment;
• Emerging contaminants including microplastics and pharmaceuticals and their removal;
• Risk-mapping and early warning systems for raw water quality;
• Land management approaches including land ownership and land management techniques; and
• Catchment management partnership approaches, incentives and business models including efficient regulatory methods (GBRs), payment for ecosystems services approach, natural capital accounting, agricultural subsidies regime after Brexit.
Welsh Water will work with academic partners from Cardiff University and a wider consortium.
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