We have an important role to play in tackling some of the big environmental issues facing our region, from flood prevention to improving coastal water quality.
Many of these issues are complex and broad-ranging, however, and our efforts have to be continually balanced against our customers’ number one priority – affordable bills both now and in the future.
To make our budgets stretch further, and to achieve substantial results, we rely heavily on partnership working – teaming up with a diverse range of organisations who share our passion for protecting and enhancing the environment.
Key partnerships include:
Natural Course: We're working in partnership with the Environment Agency, the Rivers Trust, Greater Manchester Combined Authorities (GMCA) and Natural England to protect and improve our water environment, now and for the future.
78% of rivers in North West England are not considered healthy, and many solutions are found to be too expensive to implement. Home to a diverse range of landscapes and barriers, the North West has been chosen to lead the first EU LIFE integrated Project in the UK and will span over 10 years, sharing its results with the rest of the UK and Europe.
Groundwork: we continued to work in partnership with the social and environmental charity Groundwork to deliver community projects in neighbourhoods where our engineers were working on potentially disruptive capital schemes. This partnership delivers projects including training and employment programmes, play areas, community allotments, sustainability programmes and community cohesion projects with positive social impacts in every local authority region in the North West of England.
BeachCare: this joint project between ourselves, Keep Britain Tidy, the Environment Agency and local volunteers continued for another successful year. BeachCare tackles unsightly litter on our coastlines, and encourages local hoteliers and businesses not to put unsuitable materials down the loo or sink to avoid sewer blockages.
Moors for the Future: this decade-long, wide-ranging partnership, focusing on moorland restoration, continued into its penultimate year. We remain a key partner, helping to improve the region’s moorland, especially catchment land which feeds our reservoirs.
RSPB: we continue to work across the region in a variety of different ways with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. For example, at Dove Stone reservoir in Saddleworth, we have a stunning, jointly-owned nature reserve and we continued to develop plans to improve the visitor experience at this popular tourist location. On our catchment lands in Bowland, Lancashire, we have worked with the RSPB to create the conditions for the threatened hen harrier to survive.
CatchmentWise: learning lessons from our award winning water catchment management programme (SCaMP), CatchmentWise is an important programme that sees us support local groups and projects focused on improving water quality by tackling pollution at source.
Canal and Rivers Trust: we have an employee volunteering partnership with the Canal and Rivers Trust, adopting a stretch of the Llangollen Canal near to our water treatment works at Hurleston, Cheshire. We extract drinking water from this canal to serve nearby Crewe and Nantwich. We are helping to preserve the canal and work with local landowners to make sure their land management practices don’t put the quality of water in the canal at risk.
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