Salix, an RSK group company, has been awarded one of eleven innovation funds from Ofwat to support its Seagrass Seeds Recovery project. The project is led by Affinity Water, and the Salix team and partners will receive £250,000 in funding as part of a £200 million initiative to grow the water sector’s capacity to innovate in order to meet the needs of customers, society and the environment.
Established by Ofwat, the water services regulation authority in England and Wales, the Innovation in Water Challenge aims to support projects that present an innovative approach to the evolving challenges faced in the water sector. Identifying five key “strategic innovation themes”, the Innovation in Water Challenge awarded funding to those projects that could deliver value for customers, society and the environment, while supporting these themes.
The topics identified were: responding and adapting to climate change; restoring and improving the ecological status of water environments; understanding resilience and infrastructure risks; testing new ways of carrying out core activities; and exploring the opportunities offered by open data. Salix’s project will address the challenges associated with the environmental degradation of water environments and will support the continued adaptation to the impacts of climate change.
The Seagrass Seeds Recovery Project
Working with nine partners, including Affinity Water, Salix hopes the project will “provide a blueprint” for restoring seagrass across the UK. Seagrass offers potential in mitigating climate change impacts by enhancing the stability of coastal areas, efficiently locking away carbon, improving water quality and creating valuable habitats for aquatic life. By focusing on restoration, opportunities will be created for improvements to biodiversity, while at the same time reducing carbon and nitrogen levels in the environment. Focusing on the estuarine and coastal waters of Essex and Suffolk, the project will offer insights into the potential of ‘blue carbon’ (carbon captured by marine ecosystems) in the water industry.