Oxford University’s Prof Dieter Helm is concerned about the state of the water industry in England:
“What now we have seen is a whole regulatory failure to manage the businesses.”
He proposes a focus on river catchments:
We can do much better. River catchments need to be managed on a system-wide basis. They need a system operator – analogous to the system operator function for the electricity networks. Catchment natural capital plans, catchment natural capital accounts, and the integration of flood management with the incentives of water companies and farmers could produce a much better answer, at lower total cost.
Nevertheless, in 2010 SWW was involved in the first Upstream Thinking Project, a catchment-based approach which included the reduction of agricultural pollution and improved water quality for water destined to be treated for domestic supply. There have been two 5-year projects and UST 3 is underway.
Exeter University was also involved:
Here’s another look at a post from a couple of months ago on river catchments:
And here’s the Environment Agency’s analysis of the River Sid catchment area – which is generally ‘good’: