Flood Risk, Sediment Contamination and ‘The Archers’

The environmental impact of agricultural practice on the UK’s rivers was a feature in a recent episode of ‘The Archers’ on BBC Radio Four. On a BBC blog post, Graham Harvey, agricultural adviser to ‘The Archers’, writes: “After that freak storm, the Am river – from which Ambridge gets its name – has turned brown”…

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Three Red Cards for the Government in Environmental Audit Report

In a scorecard assessment of the Government’s green policies, the cross-party Environmental Audit Committee has looked at the Government’s performance in ten areas and awarded it a red card for three areas and an amber card for the remaining seven. Its efforts to reduce air pollution, protect biodiversity, and reduce the risk of flooding were all given red cards…

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Managing Flood Risk – Environment Agency Progress Report

The Environment Agency has published a report on “Managing flood and coastal erosion risks in England, 1 April 2013 to 31 March 2014.” The report provides a summary of the National Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management (FCERM) Strategy and is a statutory requirement under the Flood and Water Management Act 2010. Flood and coastal erosion risk management in England is the responsibility of risk management authorities, which include…

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Sustainable Drainage Systems – Defra announces a change of plan

Defra has announced a consultation on the government’s plans to deliver sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) through the planning system in England. The government’s proposals represent an alternative approach to SuDS delivery compared to the one envisaged in the Flood and Water Management Act of 2010…

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MPs tell Government to do more to support development of sustainable energy technologies

A cross-party group of MPs has criticised the Government for not doing enough to support businesses developing innovative low carbon products such as heat pumps and renewable energy technologies. The Energy and Climate Change Select Committee published a report last month which scrutinised the Government’s performance in supporting firms developing new products in the renewable and sustainable energy sector…

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Sustainable Water 2014 – Water Industry Conference and Exhibition

Next week sees a two-day event for the water industry organised by WWT (Water and Wastewater Treatment) which will be held at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole. Day One of Sustainable Water 2014 takes place on 23rd September and features a conference on Water Industry Energy and Carbon Management. Day Two on 24th September is devoted to a conference on Environmental Water Management…

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Decline in snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere shows the impact of climate change

The European Environment Agency (EEA) has published a set of maps and figures that show the decline of snow cover in Europe and the Northern Hemisphere. The significance of this research is that it shows quite dramatically the impact of climate change. The data shows that snow cover extent in the Northern Hemisphere has declined significantly over the past 90 years, with most of the reductions occurring since 1980…

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Growth in low-carbon energy technologies will increase demand for ‘critical’ metals, says UKERC

Warnings about the scarcity of ‘critical’ metals used in the manufacture of low-carbon energy technologies are misguided, according to new research published by the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) and the Energy Research Partnership (ERP). Critical metals are used in a wide variety of low carbon energy technologies. Thin-film solar panels use indium and tellurium, for instance…

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Farmers meet with Defra following abstraction consultation

The National Farmers Union has met with representatives from Defra following concerns over its proposals to reform the water abstraction system. The meeting was held after Defra published the results of a consultation on its reforms in July. In an attempt to clarify misunderstandings about the new system, Defra has written a series of FAQs which have been published by Farmers Weekly. Farmers, however, are concerned about the transition period to the new arrangements, which are planned for the early 2020s…

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ECIU – New survey shows widespread misconceptions about climate change

A new survey undertaken by ComRes has revealed widespread misconceptions about energy and climate change among a sample of 2,000 UK adults. The survey was commissioned by the Energy and Climate Change Intelligence Unit (ECIU), a new not-for-profit initiative which has been set up to support informed debate on energy and climate issues in the UK. Its advisory board includes…

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ESI at Flood Risk Management conference

ESI’s Paul Ellis will be at Brownfield Briefing’s conference on Flood Risk Management next month, discussing the effective use of flood risk data. The conference will be held in London on Wednesday 1st October. Subtitled “Practical Strategies to Better Assess Flood Risk and Effectively Prioritise Investment in Flood Protection and Mitigation”, the conference will include representatives from the Environment Agency, the water industry, the Met Office and…

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