Four ways water companies are investing in the environment

All parts of the water sector are joining forces to draw up an ambitious new long-term vision.

The aim of the initiative, announced in early May 2019, is to ensure the sector has the “most positive impact possible on society and the environment”.

One key challenge it will address is the role of water companies in the long-term stewardship of the environment.

Much work and investment is already underway of course. We have been looking at some of the projects undertaken by the industry to protect and enhance key landscapes and biodiversity.

For peat’s sake

Three water companies – United Utilities, Yorkshire Water and Northumbrian Water – have match funded European investment in Pennine PeatLIFE. Its work to conserve peatlands is crucial for the environment. The moorland landscape can capture and store vast amounts of carbon, helping the battle against climate change, is a key source of biodiversity, and slows the flow of water, reducing the risk of floods.

Bringing a river back to life

Working with wildlife trusts, Bristol Water has permanently restored a section of the River Chew that had been lost for more than half a century. It will provide a home for the European eel – a species more endangered than the blue whale and giant panda.

£1m helps protect the environment

“Protecting the environment is at the heart of our work and this project will give additional protection to the Escomb area, reducing the risk of pollution from our network,” says Northumbrian Water project manager, Peter Greenan. Staff thanked the team at Weardale Railway who helped in the upgrade by giving its Bishop Auckland station a lick of paint.

Miles cleaner

Severn Trent’s community champions scheme sees staff enjoy two paid days a year to volunteer in the communities in which they live and work. They have just assessed last year’s endeavours and found the scheme planted more than 3,000 trees and cleaned over 14 kilometres of river.

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What We Do

Qa Research undertakes a wide range of customer insight and research studies for water companies.
Core topic areas have focused on Attitudes to River Water Quality, Improving Bathing Water Quality, Evaluating Behaviour Change Campaigns (water saving initiatives and sewer blockage prevention), Testing New Billing Concepts and Designs, Evaluating Behaviours During Water Supply Interruption, Online Tool Development for Willingness to Pay Surveying and much more. Find out more about the work we’ve done within the water sector by contacting Richard Bryan on