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New carbon-counter for the water industry

April 1, 2008 at 2:36 pm

The water industry in the UK has a new procedure that will measure and count the amount of embodied carbon produced. This will mean that when certain water companies build new treatment plants, for example, they will be able to monitor the carbon footprint of such a task. The UK Water Industry’s Research (UKWIR) has partnered with engineering firm MWH to help conduct the research.

There is currently a price-watch system in operation in the water industry, led by the regulator Ofwat, which has a five-year review for the water and sewage companies. Consideration of carbon will now be implemented and form part of a process called the PR09 system.

Ofwat have not been strangers to regulations and strict guidelines when it comes to climate change. Over the last few years they have called on all UK water companies to produce 25-year plans detailing how they will manage and conduct themselves in an environmentally friendly line of business.

Regulating and checking-up on the UK’s water companies is a fact of life in the industry, as often they can find themselves bending the rules somewhat. Ofwat are always hot on their tails though and never was this better displayed than when Thames Water faced a fine of up to £12 million for inadequate reporting of customer services. The project manager of UKWIR Gordon Wheale names this as just one of a series of projects the water industry are implementing in the name of climate change.

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