Anglian Water and partners are awarded more than £5.5 million for their latest project
28 April 2022
Photo credit: Eddington Development
An innovative project to implement an integrated water management system has been named a winner of Ofwat’s second Water Breakthrough Challenge. The English and Welsh water regulator has awarded £5,535,000 to Anglian Water and partners for its Enabling Water Smart Communities project.
The East of England, where Anglian Water operates, is the driest and flattest part of the country, making it particularly vulnerable to the increasing impacts of climate change. As these impacts become more frequent and severe, water scarcity, environmental capacity and flood risk are ever more important.
These pressures are heightened by significant population growth and development in the company’s region, with some of the UK’s fastest growing cities and towns in East Anglia. Over the past three years, housing growth across council areas in Anglian Water’s region has averaged 42,000 new homes a year, with the population forecast to increase by 940,000 people by 2040.
Anglian Water will work with a number of partners including Thames Water, United Utilities, Arup, The Chartered Institute of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM) and Universities of East Anglia and Manchester, as well as a number of developers and housing associations” to deliver a project that will address the current barriers to Integrated Water Management. This will provide an innovative, novel solution to the challenge we face by combining blue-green infrastructure, technologies and behaviour change initiatives to make the most of opportunities to improve people’s lives.
George Warren, Integrated Water Management Lead at Anglian Water said: “This project is urgently needed to bring together the wide range of development partners to identify and break down barriers to integrated water management. It is essential that we come together at a time when water demand is only going to continue through both growth and climate change; to demonstrate a replicable approach for future sustainable development.”
Through the project partner’s extensive network, the partners will share experiences and make recommendations to drive system-level change so integrated water management becomes the new norm for housing development.
The second Water Breakthrough Challenge is part of a series of innovation competitions made possible by Ofwat’s £200m Water Innovation Fund. It is delivered by Nesta Challenges, Arup and Isle Utilities. The fund helps stimulate new innovations, enabling the water sector to better meet the evolving needs of customers, society and the environment.
John Russell, Senior Director, Strategy, Finance and Infrastructure at Ofwat said: “It's crucial for the water sector to come up with new, innovative ideas to fix the challenges that the sector – and society – faces. The winners revealed today will help develop ideas to save more water, turn captured carbon into useful products, and – ultimately – make the sector more sustainable.
"Ofwat’s Innovation Fund, which provides the prize money for these competitions, exists to help stimulate new and bold initiatives by water companies working in partnership with universities, charities, engineering practices and technology firms. We have much to learn from other sectors and the winners of this round of the competition showcase just how much can be achieved when we collaborate."