The Farming for Water catchment schemes, in which Severn Trent has worked with Midlands farmers to minimise pollution to watercourses, were shortlisted for the Environment Award at the 2018 Utility Week Awards. Six other Severn Trent projects were shortlisted for awards, across five categories.
“It’s an amazing achievement to have several projects shortlisted, and we’re especially proud to have four projects shortlisted for the Environment Award,” says Dr Jodie Rettino, Severn Trent catchment management and biodiversity lead.
“It shows that we’re starting to be recognised as environmental leaders, a position which we are striving towards,” she adds.
Jodie explains that through the Farming for Water catchment schemes Severn Trent has engaged with more than 2,000 farmers to improve the quality of water coming off agricultural land in water catchment areas.
“We’ve got a total of 36,000 ha of land signed up to the Farm to Tap scheme, which rewards farmers for reducing metaldehyde levels in surface water runoff, reducing the need for treatment.
“The other main scheme is the Severn Trent Environmental Protection Scheme (STEPS), which has awarded over £4 million in grants to farms for infrastructure and land management improvements to minimise pollution and protect watercourses,” explains Jodie.
STEPS includes funding for a range of projects suitable for livestock and arable farmers, such as installing hard bases for livestock drinking troughs and pesticide biofilters. It also promotes innovation, by having a funding option for farmers’ ideas for developments that will achieve environmental goals and their farm business aims. STEPS is currently taking applications for funding.
Severn Trent was also shortlisted for the Capital Project Management Award, the Community Initiative of the Year, the Customer Engagement Award and the IT Initiative of the Year.
“To be shortlisted for a broad range of awards shows real progress towards our vision of being the most trusted water company by 2020,” says Jodie.