Water project scoops prestigious national award
A research project which showed how enhancing water storage on peat land can improve water quality and carbon storage - as well as releasing less water during times of flooding - has won a national award.
The Exmoor Mires Project beat five other finalists to win the Data Project of the Year category at the Water Industry Achievement Awards on Tuesday evening.
The award was made to South West Water, the University of Exeter and the Environment Agency for the big data analysis undertaken for the project, where state-of-the-art sensor and telemetry technology monitors how much the restoration of Exmoor and Dartmoor has improved water storage and quality.
Exmoor Mires is part of South West Water's award-winning catchment management programme, Upstream Thinking, which is finding ways to improve water quality at source to improve water treatment.
Professor Richard Brazier of Geography at the University of Exeter, explained: "This prize recognises the huge potential of real-time data collection to inform the water industry of the effects of landscape restoration. We have shown that complex sensor networks can be deployed in remote landscapes to answer important questions relevant to water supply and water quality.
"We are excited that our research provides the water company with the evidence it needs to support continued restoration of damaged landscapes as part of the Upstream Thinking program which can lead to profound and positive changes in the hydrological cycle."
Exmoor Mires Project Manager, Dr David Smith, said: "We're delighted that the top-class research put in place for this project has been recognised with this national award. This work has global importance in terms of how we look after natural water-retaining resources like blanket bog."
To learn more about The Exmoor Mires project visit: www.exmoormires.org.uk/
For more information about the award and other finalists visit: www.waterindustryachievementawards.info
Published: 23 April 2015
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South West Water