Innovations that turn ammonia in wastewater into green energy and use artificial intelligence (AI) or unexploited telecoms cables to detect leaks in the water network are among the winners of Ofwat’s inaugural £2 million Innovation in Water Challenge (IWC).
Freshwater fish are under threat, with as many as a third of global populations in danger of extinction, according to an assessment.
Populations of migratory freshwater fish have plummeted by 76% since 1970, and large fish – those weighing more than 30kg – have been all but wiped out in most rivers. The global population of megafish down by 94%, and 16 freshwater fish species were declared extinct last year.
Wetland habitats take many forms, from upland peat bogs through to valley mires, floodplain meadows and vast reedbeds. Whether fed by rain or groundwater, these wet habitats all need a water supply to create the conditions that keep their soils, vegetation and resident species happy and healthy. In the UK we have lost a startling 90% of our former wetlands, often by draining them to make way for agriculture, development, forestry and other land uses.
For more than twenty years, a movement of NGOs, fishermen, scientists, local residents, activists, and politicians have been fighting to restore the migratory pathways of wild Atlantic salmon. They have finally achieved their victory with the announcement of the "New Poutès" dam on the Upper Allier. The old dam has been removed, and a new structure will be built. The once 4.5 kilometer impoundment will now be 350 meters long.
Transforming how we use land is an essential part of our response to Climate emergency. Great progress could be made rapidly in agriculture, forestry and other land uses by using existing technologies. But we will need to go further to support a transition in the rural economy at the rate and scale required.
Embedding the value of nature at individual, government, business, and investor level is vital. We know that we cannot solve the climate emergency without nature as our ally: climate change, nature loss and social inequalities need to be tackled together to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Scientists are using cutting-edge technology along Britain’s 20,000-mile rail network, as part of Network Rail’s new action plan for sustainable vegetation management.
In 1992 I started my career as a newly fledged post-doc working on the Integrated Farming Systems project and so have been intrigued to see the rising interest in Regenerative Agriculture. But what is it and is it any different to Integrated Farming that has been promoted by organisations such as LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming) since it’s establishment 1991?