Between 2011 and 2013, South West Water engaged the Westcountry Rivers Trust to undertake all 17 of their National Environment Programme (NEP) Catchment Investigations. The project objective was to provide SWW with detailed pollution risk assessment and source apportionment evidence to inform their proposed future catchment management projects that are designed to achieve raw water quality improvements.
In order to deliver the Catchment Investigations, WRT developed a scalable methodology that can be adapted to meet the specific requirements of any study catchment. The investigations also provide targeted and fully costed intervention strategies for each of the study catchments, which are designed to achieve the most significant improvements in water quality using the most cost‐effective and resource efficient approach.
The outputs from these investigations have fed directly into the SWW PR14 Business Plan and the EA’s Drinking Water Protected Areas Safeguard Zone Action Plans.
More recently, this approach has been developed further with the Trust working with Natural England to develop catchment water quality risk assessments for the Rivers Axe and Camel which are both Natura 2000 designated rivers (Special Areas of Conservation, SACs).