When the water industry was privatised in 1989, boundaries were established along the lines of the river basins that gave many of the companies their names. Our sector has since been defined by these catchments that are such important features of the regions and communities we serve. The years following privatisation have seen a transformation in standards, with companies radically improving all key aspects of the service they provide customers, and greatly reducing their impacts on the environment. However, the investment that has made this possible has, largely been through traditional, ‘hard’ engineering solutions, which rarely address problems at source.
Managing our catchments by addressing issues at their source can offer better value or greater benefits than more traditional hard engineering solutions. Thames Water has a long tradition of catchment projects and programmes, ranging from pioneering work in the 1990s to protect drinking water sources from pesticides used on railway lines, to our award-winning recent programme to install sustainable drainage in schools, managing flood risk and creating new nature reserves in urban catchments.
We face many, varied challenges that mean we need to evolve the ways we work. Rapid population growth and changing weather patterns are placing an increasing pressure on our ageing infrastructure, while we strive to meet higher environmental standards. We continue to work with landowners to reduce diffuse pollution across our catchments and have also designed an industry-first initiative which will deliver a more holistic approach to improving our river catchments.
We'll continue to work with farmers and land managers to reduce the risk from nitrate and certain pesticides, in addition to metaldehyde, that are frequently detected in our rivers and groundwater. We'll be offering:
For more information about our catchment-based initiatives, please email us.