Ensuring the sustainability of abstraction while meeting supply needs
For AMP6, the Environment Agency, as part of the National Environment Programme (NEP) identified sites where South Staffordshire Water had to deliver schemes or investigations related to the effects of abstraction on stream flows, wetlands and the associated aquatic ecology across both the Staffordshire and Cambridge supply.
These investigations focused on local, ‘reach scale’, issues, or assessed whether the abstractions were a limiting factor in the achievement of Good status of waterbodies (typically sub-catchment scale) under the Water Framework Directive (WFD).
Many of the sites within the AMP6 programme had impact assessments undertaken during AMP5, although it was acknowledged that these were underpinned on relatively limited site-specific environmental datasets. Work undertaken by Stantec and our partner APEM during AMP6 involved resolving residual uncertainties and identifying cost-effective and environmental outcome focused solutions.
The programme of works consisted of several phases, including targeted baseline data collection, scenario-based groundwater modelling, and tests/trials to validate the environmental response to changes at the asset or refine potential solutions. As part of this Stantec and APEM have applied their innovative hydroecology model to help identify effects at the reach scale and determine site-specific environmental flow targets.
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