Affinity Water claims industry top spot in abstraction reduction

Affinity Water has reported abstracting 3,050 million litres less water from environmentally sensitive sites like chalk streams in the 2017/18 financial year.

On the publication of its latest Abstraction Incentive Mechanism (AIM) report, the company said it led the industry in terms of performance against the mechanism, which incentivises firms to reduce their abstractions from certain water sources when river flows are low. Performance is assessed against historic abstraction (1995-2015) when low flow conditions were seen. The AIM scores from all company sites are added together, to give a global AIM score for Affinity Water’s supply area. This is then compared with the performance of other water companies.

Senior asset scientist Daniel Yarker explained: “We have been an industry leader in AIM since its inception in April 2016. Across our Central and South East regions, we put forward 23 potentially environmentally sensitive sources for inclusion in the mechanism, equivalent to almost 13% of our resource base at the time. Sites that were scheduled for sustainability reductions were to be included, up to the point of the sustainability reduction. In this way, AIM has the potential to make significant contributions to the natural environment, over and above our already challenging sustainability reduction programme. As of March 2018, abstraction in four catchments has been reduced as part of planned sustainability reductions. The number of AIM sources assessed n 2017-2018 was 19.

“We work closely with the Environment Agency and our operational teams to ensure that data is shared regularly and where we can, we reduce abstraction to be less than it was historically. This forms part of our shared commitment to improve the status of our globally important Chalk streams.”