DEFRA has granted funding of £150k to a business network that is aimed at helping firms manage their water issues more effectively. The group, Business in the Community’s Water Taskforce, has also just released a report highlighting the water challenges faced in the UK.
Companies signed up to the BITC Water Taskforce include Anglian Water, the Carbon Trust, EDF Energy, the Environment Agency, Yorkshire Water, and Northumbrian Water. It was set up in 2012 by North West water firm United Utilities.
Awarding the funding, Defra said it hopes the initiative will encourage positive action among businesses on issues including pollution, water supplies and flood risk.
Water Minister Dan Rogerson said: “Across the country, many individual businesses are doing great things to help protect water quality and the environment. We believe businesses working together and sharing best practice is crucial to encourage others to do the same.”
“That is why we are providing the Water Stewardship in Food Supply Chains Project within the Water Taskforce with £150,000 of government funding, to help boost collaboration and share knowledge across industry.”
The taskforce is calling on all UK businesses to consider their relationship with water and take action to improve their resilience to the risk of periods of too much and too little water.
It has released a report Securing the Resources for Future Prosperity, highlighting the reasons why businesses should take action and what they need to do.
Six steps are identified to help organisations take action on water:
1. Understand their relationship with water
2. Create a plan for action
3. Manage direct use of water
4. Manage indirect use of water
5. Build resilience to flooding and water shortages
6. Collaborate on sustainable water quality management.
A priority is to get small and large businesses to take water more seriously in terms of the damage it can cause when it isn’t contained.
The report uncovers many stories of how businesses are already rising to the challenge, and says urgent action is needed to tackle UK water issues.