A collaborative project between Anglian Water, Essex & Suffolk Water and Wheatley Solutions has launched to help manage local water resources in water-stressed parts of the region.
The cloud-based platform has been developed to promote effective water trade and sharing between EA abstraction licence holders, with input from the Environment Agency (EA), Water Resources East (WRE), East Suffolk Water Abstraction Group (ESWAG), the NFU plus other stakeholders.
The Wheatley Watersource pilot began on December 1 in the east of Suffolk and will run for a year, with potential to expand the pilot area if interest is expressed by other areas of the region. If the pilot is successful then it could be rolled out nationally.
The Water Trade part of the platform allows water abstractors in the area to advertise if they are actively looking to share/trade water, or need water (including water rights), and similarly for other users who do not have an abstraction licence but rely on a potable water supply including golf courses and nurseries.
The solution allows a donor and recipient to set up a ‘trade opportunity’ that is automatically assessed against a set of rules agreed with the EA, to confirm if trade is possible. This will indicate if ‘fast trade’ is possible (i.e. if EA approval is not necessary) or if referral to EA is required for a variation of a licence, for example.
If referral to the EA is needed, then Wheatley Watersource will help to pull together the information the EA requires for a ‘pre-application’ and email this to the EA Permitting Office.
The East of England is the driest part of the UK, receiving a third less rainfall than average.
Anglian Water says securing future water supply is one of the biggest tasks faced by the water company as it continues to balance the demands of its customers with the needs of the wider environment.
For further information about Wheatley Watersource visit: wheatleysolutions.co.uk