Drones will be used for the first time this summer to gather information about illegal abstraction in East Anglia’s fenland areas.
The Environment Agency manages abstraction to balance the needs of the environment with the rights of lawful water users during periods of dry weather.
Our regulatory officers carry out high visibility patrols every year throughout the irrigation season to ensure landowners and farmers are adhering to the conditions of their licences and do not cause harm to the environment.
Last year’s heatwave led to a number of licence holders breaching their conditions and this year some illegal abstractions have already been uncovered.
Andrew Chapman, Environment Planning Specialist for the Environment Agency in East Anglia, said:
“Following on from the hot and dry summer we experienced in 2018 our area has not received the winter rainfall we would normally expect and this is placing significant pressure on the water environment.
We have contacted irrigators who have licences that permit abstraction from the Middle Level to inform them that restrictions are likely to be required during the irrigation season.
We will be prioritising our water resources compliance work over the summer period in those catchments that are at risk from this prolonged dry period.
This will be the first time we have ever used drones for this purpose. The majority of irrigators do operate within their licence conditions. However, last year a minority of farmers did not play by the rules and severely restricted other people’s ability to irrigate their crops.”
A third party will be employed to operate the drone, which connects to a web portal, so that an Environment Agency staff member can view the images from a computer and direct the device to fly over certain locations. If irrigators are found to be abstracting illegally, enforcement action will be taken. This can include written warnings, civil sanctions, referral to the Rural Payments Agency or prosecution.
Five new environment officers have been taken on this year to help manage the water resources issue. Their role includes identifying licence holders at risk of water restrictions and making them aware of the possible shortages.
They will also carry out inspections in the riskier catchments where more intense abstraction takes place. In the east of the region, the frequency of compliance checks and patrols is also increasing.
Michael Neale, Land and Water team leader in Essex, said:
“We have an intelligence-led approach to all compliance checks. We will always respond to reports of illegal abstraction. We are going to up our response out of hours to reports wherever they come from. We will have more resources on hand to bolster our approach.”
Anyone suspected of abstracting illegally should be reported to the Environment Agency hotline on 0800 80 70 60.
As part of a new framework contract with Anglian Water, Veolia is targeting savings of £1.07million through process optimisation and energy management, and reducing the water company’s carbon footprint.
Since starting in late 2017, the three year contract has provided a range of optimisation services designed to support the company in its efficiency goals across its water and water recycling systems. The contract highlights the success of working collaboratively with Anglian Water’s experts and six other companies in the EE&O framework.
Anglian Water supplies 1.2 billion litres of water each day to its customers. As the largest water and water recycling company in England and Wales by geographic area, Anglian Water manages a network of 114,185 km of water and sewer pipes which is supported by their treatment facilities. Under the contract Veolia deliver an optimised process control service covering water supply, water recycling, aeration and pumping systems. By working collaboratively with Anglian Water’s Energy and Operational Optimisation teams, and implementing the latest optimisation techniques gained from worldwide best practice the water company gains from efficient use of energy and chemicals, and improved resilience in line with today’s water industry standards.
For water optimisation, the services include treatment processes and pumping systems, energy demand management, maximising plant availability, asset utilisation, HVAC and lighting. For Water Recycling optimisation (wastewater treatment works), Veolia provide services for sludge treatment, aeration processes, pump and compressor efficiency, steam generation and tariff management.
Commenting on the development, John Abraham, Chief Operating Officer – UK & Ireland Water & Industrial Customers at Veolia said, “Through technical innovation and secure service delivery, our work with Anglian Water is delivering real benefits, and is driving greater efficiency for the future. By working collaboratively with Anglian Water’s Energy & Optimisation initiatives and other framework partners we are helping them to achieve efficiency and regulatory targets, reduce their carbon footprint and improve resilience.”
Optimising water and water recycling assets is at the heart of Anglian Water achieving its strategic goals. Delivering an excellent value service to its customers, becoming Carbon Neutral by 2050 and meeting increased demand due to growth in the region, adapting to climate change, and improving the environment relies on optimal asset operation.
For more information visit www.veolia.co.uk
Some of the registration and renewal fees of the Professional Registrations that we administrate will increase from the 1st January 2019.
These fees are decided by the Professional Bodies and not the Institute of Water.
The fees for 2019 are:
Environment Registration Fees by the Society for the Environment
- For Chartered Environmentalists (CEnv), the new registration fee will be £86 and the annual renewal fee will be £43.
- For Registered Environmental Technician (REnvTech), the new registration fee will be £40 and the annual renewal fee will be £20.
Engineering Registration Fees by the Engineering Council
- For Chartered Engineer (CEng), the new registration fee will be £51.90 and the annual renewal fee will be £39.90.
- For Incorporated Engineer (IEng), the new registration fee will be £43.80 and the annual renewal fee will be £33.80.
- For Engineering Technician (EngTech), the new registration fee will be £17.90 and the annual renewal fee will be £19.40.
Registration and renewal fees by the Science Council for all science registrations will remain unchanged for 2019.
You’ll also be pleased to hear that there will be no increase in Institute of Water Membership fees.