In February 2021, we submitted two lead company applications into Ofwat’s £200 million Water in Innovation Challenge.
Out of a packed field of 61 bids, 11 won Ofwat’s backing including one of our submissions, CatchmentLIFE, which has the potential to have lasting environmental benefits by improving the water habitats for our native species across the UK.
The idea is the brainchild of our Groundwater Manager, Debbie Wilkinson, who said: “I had the idea for this software quite some time ago but it wasn’t until Ofwat set aside money to fund projects like mine that it’s really had a chance to go further than my own mind.
“Having worked in the environment team for many years now I know the impact a lot of work or actions can have on wildlife and I wanted to find a way to reduce this.
“Seeing is often believing so I wanted to make something that could show the damage caused to habitats in the hope we can protect our water species.”
“Innovation has the potential to drive a sea-change in the water sector and tackle some of the biggest challenges we are facing in society. Solutions such as this will make a real impact in the coming months and mark the beginning of a new wave of innovation in the sector.” John Russell, Senior Director at Ofwat
The software is based on a series of ecological models and packaged as part of a Decision Support software system. It will have a user-friendly interface that will be co-created with users from a broad spectrum of organisations.
Emma Goddard, Head of Environment, said: This software has the potential to have a profound impact on the ecological status and improve water habitats nationally, identifying collaborative options to resolve issues at the root-cause.”
To help develop this project we’ve partnered with three other water companies, two universities as well as a range of environmental organisations.
We are also partners in two other projects which were selected to receive funding:
- Supporting customers in vulnerable circumstances
- Water Innovation Centre of Excellence
Find out more about the fund visit the Ofwat Innovation in Water Challenge website.