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  • by Karma Loveday

Water trading platform opened for Suffolk abstractors

Anglian Water, Essex & Suffolk Water and Wheatley Solutions have developed a cloud-based platform to enable water trading between abstraction licence holders in Sufflolk.

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 Environment Agency (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 Wheatley Watersource pilot began on the 1 December in the east of Suffolk and will run for a year, with potential to expand the pilot area if interest is expressed by other areas of the region. If the pilot is successful then it could be rolled out nationally. The EA, Water Resources East, East Suffolk Water Abstraction Group, the National Farmers Union and other stakeholders have also fed in to the work.

Geoff Darch, water resources strategy manager for Anglian Water said: “The project is set to benefit abstractors by providing easy access to a large audience of other abstractors, and quickly give confidence in trading opportunities that are possible.”

• WRE is consulting until 10 February on its analysis of the environmental context of the East of England and its proposed approach to assessing the environmental effects of the regional water resources plan it is developing. WRE has adopted an Integrated Environmental Assessment process, which will cover: Strategic Environmental Assessment, Natural Capital Assessment, Environmental Net Gain, Biodiversity Net Gain, Habitats Regulations Assessment, Water Framework Directive Assessment and Invasive Non-Native Species Assessment. The Scoping Report, published last week, will set the context and scope for the IEA. The subsequent Environmental Report, which will be published alongside the draft WRE regional plan, will set out the findings of the IEA.


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