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  • by Karma Loveday

Suffolk water trading pilot expands across East Anglia


A pilot project to enable water trading between abstraction licence holders in Suffolk has now been extended to cover most of East Anglia, parts of Norfolk and Essex. The map shows the original pilot area (purple) and the area now covered (blue).


The cloud-based platform was developed by Wheatley Solutions in consultation with the Environment Agency (EA) and using Agency rules and data.


Abstractors in the area can advertise if they are actively looking to share/trade water, or need water (including water rights), as can other users who don’t have an abstraction licence but rely on a potable water supply – such as golf courses, nurseries or industry.


A donor and recipient can then set up a ‘trade opportunity’ that is automatically assessed against a set of rules agreed with the EA. This will indicate if ‘fast trade’ is possible (EA approval isn’t necessary) or if referral to EA is required for a variation of a licence, for example. If referral is needed, he platform will support the gathering of ‘pre-application’ information and email this to the EA Permitting Office.


The Suffolk pilot began on the 1 December to run for a year, but has now been expanded with the inclusion of EA abstraction licence data from the wider area. The platform is free to use and is intended as a proof of concept, potentially for national roll out.


Wheatley commented: “It is hoped that this greater ability to share and trade water will encourage more abstractors to build reservoirs to capture water as mitigation against climate variation as well as trading opportunities, to make money when sharing or to receive water when short.”

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