NGOs and water firms team up for more effective working on environmental issues

© Andy Hay /

Twenty environmental NGOs, co-ordinated by Blueprint for Water, and nine water companies today announced a set of shared principles setting out how they will work together to help leave the environment in a better state. The organisations intend for the shared principles to deliver more effective joint working on environmental and wildlife issues, including more on the ground projects achieving better outcomes for the environment and improved value for money.

The shared principles include: greater collaboration on policy and projects; promoting greater awareness of the links between water management and the natural environment; working together to achieve and build on Water Framework Directive obligations; sharing key data sets; and joint efforts to enhance and improve the resilience of water-based ecosystems.

Hannah Freeman of Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust and chair of Blueprint for Water, said: “This is the first time water companies and nature charities have agreed how to work together ahead of business plans being delivered. With our waters under increasing pressure it is essential that businesses and environmentalists are more joined-up in acting as their guardians. We must make sure investment and action delivers effective improvements for wildlife, habitats, and customers alike, and this initiative is a very welcome steps towards achieving change.”

Heidi Mottram CBE, chief executive of Northumbrian Water Group, said: “Boosting the health of the UK’s waters is vital to both the environment and water companies. With billions of pounds invested every year by water companies in improving our water systems for our customers and the natural world, we are working hard to improve our rivers, lakes, reservoirs, and seas. We want to take this further, in partnership with environmental groups, working closely with nature experts on the ground, and to influence change behind the scenes. Together we can push for changes to help improve outcomes for the environment and deliver a more sustainable and resilient water sector.”

The organisations signed up to the shared principles in England are: Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, Anglian Water, Angling Trust, A Rocha UK, British Canoeing, Buglife, Essex and Suffolk Water, Freshwater Habitats Trust, Institute of Fisheries Management, Marine Conservation Society, National Trust, Northumbrian Water, Rewilding Britain, The Rivers Trust, RSPB, Salmon and Trout Conservation, Severn Trent, Southern Water, Thames Water, United Utilities, Waterwise, Wessex Water, The Wildlife Trusts, Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, Wildlife and Countryside Link, Woodland Trust, WWF-UK, Yorkshire Water, and ZSL (Zoological Society of London).

Picture © Andy Hay /