Government issues new guidance to pesticides sector in event of no-deal Brexit

The Government has issued businesses that produce pesticides with new guidance informing them that they will need to take different actions to be able to supply new pesticides to the UK and EU markets in the event of a no deal Brexit.

The guidance says that if the UK leaves the EU with a deal there will be an Implementation Period (IP) during which the UK will continue to follow decisions made by the EU on pesticide approvals and Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs).

The key difference for businesses is that, during the IP, the UK will not be able to act as a ‘leading authority’ under the EU regime and the HSE will be unable to conduct active substance or MRL evaluations.

Businesses who want to supply new pesticides to the UK and/or EU markets would need to make an application to a competent authority in an EU Member State.

The key change would be that if a business wishes to place a new pesticide on the EU market they will need to make a separate application to the EU, a process which could take up to three years.

The guidance tells manufacturers and users of Plant Protection Products (PPPs) on what action they need to take now to minimise any disruption once the UK leaves the EU.

If the UK leaves the EU on 29 March without a deal, pesticides currently available in the UK at the point of exit will continue to be so, allowing products to be marketed and used as normal.

Future PPP applications for use and renewals in the UK will continue to be considered by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), on behalf of the UK Government (Defra) and the devolved administrations. The format and data requirements for new applications will remain the same as they do now, minimising disruption for businesses.

The high scientific standard to which decisions on the use of pesticides are made will not change. We will continue to be guided by the most up-to-date scientific assessment of the risks to animals and the environment.

Farming Minister George Eustice said:

“Delivering a negotiated deal with the EU remains the Government’s top priority, but it is our job to responsibly ensure we are prepared for all scenarios, including no deal.”

“Whether the UK leaves the EU with or without a deal will not change the high scientific standard to which decisions on the use of pesticides are made. We will continue to be guided by the most up to date scientific assessment of the risks to people, animals and the environment.”

https://www.waterbriefing.org/home/regulation-and-legislation/item/15816-government-issues-new-guidance-to-pesticides-industry-in-event-of-no-deal-brexit

Highways England helps communities benefit from schemes to ease traffic delays

Highways England is investing more than £7 million in a series of schemes that will improve journeys, generate jobs and help unlock plans to build homes.

This funding boost comes from Highways England’s Growth and Housing Fund budget and includes:

  • Nearly £4 million for junction improvement schemes around the A45 in Northamptonshire.
  • Almost £3 million for junction improvement schemes around the M42 and M5 in Worcestershire.
  • Nearly £620,000 at Moor Lane Roundabout in Exeter.

Ian Parsons, Highways England’s senior investment planning manager, said:

“Our roads are vital for the country and its economic success; they connect businesses and communities and support employment and new homes. All of our improvements will ultimately ensure our roads continue to improve journeys and unlock the potential for new jobs and homes.”

Northamptonshire will benefit from a Highways England contribution of around £4 million to deliver a comprehensive package of junction improvements at Queen Eleanor, Brackmills and Great Billing junctions along the A45.

This funding is aimed at helping local communities unlock plans for future housing, including a Homes England site at Hardingstone and to create better journey times and generate jobs.

Once delivered, the improvements will support a further 14,500 homes in the wider area and create some 3,000 jobs. The improvements will be delivered by Northamptonshire County Council.

Councillor Ian Morris, county council cabinet member for transport, highways and environment, said:

“These are very important works for Northampton and the county as a whole as the infrastructure improvements to these busy parts of the road network will help accommodate housing development. This goes to show how good partnership working can be instrumental in bringing the improvements required that benefit the local economy.”

Head of Public Sector Land (South East) for Homes England, Charles Amies, said:

“Providing major infrastructure is key to unlocking the development of new and affordable homes, so we welcome Highways England’s investment in improving the A45.

“The development will support the ambitions we share with Northamptonshire County Council and Northampton Borough Council to create the communities, employment opportunities and transport links the county needs.”

Regional Director for Kier Living, Martin Bessant, added:

“We are committed to building houses in areas of the country with the greatest need. Our Hardingstone development will deliver 750 new homes as well as vital new and improved infrastructure, including roads, as we look to leave a lasting legacy for residents and the wider community.”

The Northamptonshire improvements scheme is expected to start on site in June 2019 and be completed and open to traffic by March 2021.

Worcestershire will benefit from a Highways England contribution of £2.68 million to support two schemes to improve journeys around junction 4 of the M5 and junction 1 of the M42 near Bromsgrove.

The improvements, which include widening the A38 at junction 1 of the M42 and at M5 junction 4 to Lydiate Ash Road, are expected to significantly reduce queuing at peak times in the area and improve journey times. They are part of the wider A38 Bromsgrove Corridor scheme which, when complete, is expected to unlock a total of 1,946 homes and allow new offices and warehouse space to be built, creating employment opportunities in the local area.

The scheme is being developed by Worcestershire County Council in partnership with Bromsgrove District Council and is being funded by Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership (WLEP), Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) and Highways England with further funding from the private sector.

More details on the scheme will be shared by Worcestershire County Council over the coming months.

Exeter and the surrounding area will benefit from a £619,000 Highways England contribution to the scheme which will deliver extra lanes on the southern approach to Moor Lane Roundabout and improve local road access from the A30.

The improvements will reduce queuing at peak times in the area, especially on the M5 junction 29 exit slip roads, and improve journey times.

The £2.23 million scheme is being delivered by Devon County Council and is also being supported by the Department for Transport’s National Productivity Investment Fund (NPIF) which is providing £858,000 in funding, with a further £750,000 coming from the private sector. Work is expected to start in the Autumn of 2019 and continue until the following Spring.

Highways England’s contribution will enable the building of 370 of the planned 1,870 homes at Cranbrook in east Devon and Hill Barton in Exeter to be brought forward.

The scheme also compliments the recently delivered Tithe Barn improvement scheme, which included a 60-metre span pedestrian and cycle bridge and was funded with over £4 million from Highways England’s Growth and Housing Fund, as well as developers contributions.

The pedestrian and cycle bridge, which runs alongside the existing bridge just north of Junction 29, opened in February – with the link road fully opened in April.

Councillor Andrea Davis, Devon County Council Cabinet Member with responsibility for Infrastructure and Development, said:

“Increasing the capacity at Moor Lane roundabout is a positive investment in our local infrastructure which supports Devon’s continuing economic growth. It will help citybound commuters on the A30 in the mornings and will ease congestion problems for people leaving Sowton Industrial Estate in the evenings.

“Devon County Council is continuing its excellent track record of getting schemes shovel ready. Working with Highways England, the Growth and Housing Fund, has helped us deliver the Tithebarn Link Road and pedestrian and cycle bridge, while the National Productivity Investment Fund is helping support the next phase of the E4 cycle route, expansion of the Co-Bikes scheme, a new Park and Change near Exeter Science Park and the works at Moor Lane roundabout.

“The eastern edge of the city will benefit from over £15 million of transport investment over the next three years. These improvements will upgrade transport links while providing access to planned new homes and employment land.”

Steve Hindley, Chair of the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership, also welcomed the improvement to the Moor Lane junction, adding:

“This scheme will help support the dynamic growth of both employment and housing East of Exeter, including the Science Park, Skypark and the new community of Cranbrook. Reducing congestion is crucial in continuing to attract investment in our businesses.”

All the schemes are receiving support from the fund that has already provided over £77 million to communities across the country, improving junctions and creating access to commercial land and new homes.

To date the specialist fund has made huge improvements and benefits to local communities, unlocking homes and jobs in Swindon, Exeter, Weston-super-Mare, Darlington, Scunthorpe, Grantham, Warrington, Derby, Oldham, Taunton, Durham, Daventry, Leicester and Southampton.

For more articles like this, please visit Highways Industry News website.

Guildford A3 average speed camera and junction widening plans revealed

Detailed drawings of the major improvement works to the A3 through Guildford have been revealed to the public.

The four-part improvements works include: the introduction of six average speed cameras on the northbound carriageway; the widening and extending of the University and Stoke Interchange slip roads; and the already-built ramp metering system for vehicles joining the A3 southbound at the Denis Interchange.

The scheme aims to relieve congestion, improve traffic flow and reduce tailbacks onto the main carriageway. Work is set to begin later this month and be completed by the summer.

Six average speed cameras will be placed along the northbound carriageway (Image: Highways England)

Six average speed cameras will be placed along the northbound carriageway (Image: Highways England)

Alessio Mancino, Highways England project manager for the scheme, spoke to Surrey Live about the impact of the work.

He said: “If you consider the hours, around 85,000 journeys are made per day on the A3. There is congestion on the slip roads and these improvements are addressing those concerns. It will be a massive improvement.

“We are planning to add 36 more spaces for vehicles on the Stoke Interchange – enlarging it by 1.3 times its current size.

“For the University Interchange, we are enlarging the starting capacity of the slip road by 2.6 times – this means an additional 33 vehicles will be able to be on the slip road. That takes 33 vehicles off the main A3 as well, which is important.”

Stoke Interchange improvements (Image: Highways England)

Stoke Interchange improvements (Image: Highways England)

With Guildford Borough Council making improvements to the Egerton Road roundabout, just off the A3, and Surrey County Council’s long-running changes to the Stoke Crossroads, it is hoped that journey times will be improved through these busy areas.

Mr Mancino said: “There will be some improvements to journey times. It is difficult to appreciate exactly how many minutes, but the conjunction of these schemes will have a massive impact.”

University Interchange improvements (Image: Highways England)

University Interchange improvements (Image: Highways England)

A spokesman for Highways England admitted that the A3 “was never designed” to accommodate 85,000 vehicles per day and that the authority had considered the impact of vehicles leaving it “right until the last minute” before cutting on to the University slip road.

For more articles like this, please visit Highways Industry News website.

Work starts on £2.6m natural flood management project in West Yorkshire

Work has started on a two year £2.6 million natural flood management project in West Yorkshire led by the National Trust to help protect homes and nurture wildlife devastated by the Boxing Day floods of 2015.

The aim is to reduce the risk of flooding to over 3,000 homes and businesses in Todmorden, Hebden Bridge, Marsden and surrounding areas. The investment will be one of the largest of its kind to date in England.

 

The work at Hardcastle Crags and Wessenden Valley, part of Marsden Moor, both cared for by the National Trust and Gorpley Reservoir, looked after by Yorkshire Water and the Woodland Trust, will use a combination of natural interventions to slow the flow of water along the Colne and Calder river catchments.

The plans include the planting of 151 hectares of new woodland at Gorpley Reservoir and in the Wessenden Valley, the restoration of 85 hectares of peat bogs, heath and Molinia (moor grass) and the construction of over 650 “leaky dams”.

The funding comes from £1.3 million Growth Deal funding from the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and £1.3 million either in funds or in-kind support from other partners including;

  • The Forestry Commission
  • Moors For The Future Partnership
  • Environment Agency
  • Woodland Trust
  • Yorkshire Water
  • Calderdale Council
  • other community groups

Over 3,000 metres of fascines (bundles of brushwood) will also be dug in to help stabilise stream banks and slopes, and new areas of land will be fenced for sustainable grazing by sheep and cattle.

The partners have been working together as part of the White Rose Forest Partnership. New woodlands planted will help grow the White Rose Forest, part of the new Northern Forest.

Increasing recognition of role natural flood management can play to reduce impacts of flooding

Craig Best, countryside manager for the National Trust in West Yorkshire commented:

“Traditional flood alleviation schemes have focused primarily on delivering hard infrastructures such as flood defence walls to protect the places where people live. However, there is increasing recognition of the role natural flood management can play to reduce the impacts of flooding on communities, while delivering key benefits for the natural environment.”

“Although natural techniques are not considered to be the single solution to reducing flood risk they are increasingly recognised as playing a significant role alongside more traditional approaches.”

“The combination of work we’re planning here of both new habitat creation and landscape restoration will, once things have become established, help absorb significant amounts of water to help slow the flow of water heading downstream towards towns and villages when we experience heavy rain.

The project is the second largest undertaken by the conservation charity after the success of a similar project on the Holnicote Estate in Somerset where similar interventions have eased flood risk downstream at the villages of Allerford, West Lynch and Bossington.

Ambitious project marks start of joint long-term partnership between National Trust and Yorkshire Water

The ambitious project also marks the start of a joint, long-term partnership, between the National Trust and Yorkshire Water.

Yorkshire Water Chief Executive Richard Flint said:

“The Calder Valley reacts extremely quickly to heavy rainfall and the resulting flooding can have a devastating impact on local people.

“In 2017 we launched a natural flood management pilot project at Gorpley. This, along with the planting of up to 200,000 trees as part of our commitment to plant one million trees over the next 10 years, will help to slow the flow of water, reducing the risk of flooding and make the area more resilient to climate change. However, we know that we can achieve so much more by working together with our partners and that’s why today’s announcement is such good news.

“By working together, we can join up our different projects and deliver landscape scale solutions that provide real benefit for people and the environment. This project also marks the start of an ambitious new partnership between Yorkshire Water and the National Trust and we’re looking forward to delivering more in partnership in the coming months and years.”

The Slow the Flow Calderdale group has been instrumental in setting up the early stages of this Natural Flood Management scheme at Hardcastle Crags with the National Trust.

Hundreds of volunteers who have given up 1000s of hours of their time have already built over 300 leaky dams throughout this area of outstanding natural beauty. Adrian Horton from Slow the Flow added:

“Without our volunteers none of this would have been possible and the benefits are now being felt along Hebden Water and into Hebden Bridge. Our forthcoming plans for developing and monitoring this unique scheme will prove to be a valuable asset and that natural flood management does have a place in reducing flood risk.”

Need to think holistically and look at how we slow the water down from source to sea

Mike Innerdale, director of the National Trust in the north said that as a major land owner and conservation charity  the organisation had a huge part to play, commenting:

“We are seeing more extreme weather across the UK, which is what we expect to see as a result of climate change, and have to come to terms with these challenges.

“When it comes to reducing the risk of flooding, we have to think holistically and look at how we slow the water down from source to sea. If we get the pieces of the jigsaw right by intervening and managing water together, we can make a difference. By trying to ‘slow, store and filter’ water before it ends up in the main rivers we can help reduce flood risk, improve water quality and potentially make water available during dry periods.”

The work will be monitored by the University of Leeds – key lessons will be taken forward to other projects, including the National Trust’s Riverlands programme, currently in development, which will bring communities and organisations together to protect local waters, habitats and wildlife across England and Wales.

https://www.waterbriefing.org/home/flooding/item/15814-work-starts-on-%C2%A326m-natural-flood-management-project-in-west-yorkshire

Highways England announces £3m funding to improve junctions

Millions of pounds are set to be invested into improving two Worcester motorway junctions, including junction 4 of the M5 – the site of numerous accidents.

Highways England is putting nearly £3million into the scheme to improve junctions in the county to ease traffic delays, generate jobs and move plans to build nearly 2,000 homes a step closer.

The £2.68m funding boost, announced today (January 28), comes from the road authority’s Growth and Housing Fund budget.

This aims to help local communities unlock plans for future housing and to create better journey times as well as generate jobs.

The improvements, which include widening the A38 at junction 1 of the M42 and at M5 junction 4 to Lydiate Ash Road, are expected to significantly reduce queuing at peak times.

They are part of the wider A38 Bromsgrove Corridor scheme which, when complete, is expected to unlock a total of 1,946 homes.

It will also allow new offices and warehouse space to be built, creating employment opportunities in the local area.

The scheme is being developed by Worcestershire County Council in partnership with Bromsgrove District Council.

It is being funded by Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership (WLEP), Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) and Highways England with further funding from the private sector.

Catherine Brookes, Highways England Midlands regional director, said: “Our roads are vital for the country and its economic success; they connect businesses and communities and support employment and new homes.

“All of our improvements will ultimately ensure our roads continue to improve journeys and unlock the potential for new jobs and homes.”

Worcestershire is receiving support from the fund that has already provided over £77 million to communities across the country, improving junctions and creating access to commercial land and new homes.

More details on the scheme will be shared by Worcestershire County Council over the coming months.

For more articles like this, please visit Highways Industry News website.

This is where Bristol Council will spend £1.7m on roads across the city

Details have been released about how £1.7m of extra funding for road repairs in Bristol will be spent.

Bristol City Council’s ruling Labour cabinet agreed to spend the money on a number of high priority projects which need to be repaired in the next 12 months.

The money from the Department of Transport has to be spent by the end of March.

Nearly a third of the cash will be spent on carriageway resurfacing across the city, with mayor Marvin Rees reminding motorists that Bristol has a ‘no idle-roadworks policy’

“It means where the bollards go up we will be getting them down as quickly as possible,” he said during Tuesday’s cabinet meeting.

Presenting a report on the grant Mr Rees added: “Our highway network is the largest and most visible publicly owned asset, and it is for most people, the way by which Bristolians come into contact with council services.

“It’s fundamental to the economy, the social environmental wellbeing of our communities and the prosperity of the city.

“This additional funding will help us tackle the deterioration of our roads and we will use it to repair those areas that have been identified through our data collection.”

In the report to cabinet it said that the funding for Bristol had to be used to address potholes, local bridges and structures, and minor highway works within the current financial year.

Here are the projects that will receive funding:

£121k on additional works to deliver the Scotland Lane highway flooding prevention project

This notorious site has been prone to flooding for years and has had to be regularly closed for clean-up measures to be carried out which is costly and has caused inconvenience for all who use the busy road.

£275k Bath Bridges

The council has said it has been made ware that structural beams supporting the carriageway need refurbishment and painting to maintain structural integrity.

According to the report works required include steel repairs, concrete and masonry repairs, drainage repairs and full paint protection system.

£460K carriageway surfacing

Details of where these works will take place have yet to be released. But they are classified as ‘priority sites’ from the Highways Carriageway Rolling Programme, all of which are suffering from both surface and foundation failure.

£25k Portway highway flood prevention

This is a scheme at the Portway junction with Sylvan Way near Sea Mills. the council has said it is a ‘high priority’ as water on the network has resulted in a number of road traffic collisions at that location.

£30k footway reconstruction

This is a project in Clifton Park and is part of the council’s footway rolling programme. There are no further details on the project at the moment.

£52K to support the harbour condition assessment

Last year the council agreed to spend £550,000 for a team of experts to inspect the condition of council-owned assets around the harbour and New Cut.

The authority said it had “insufficient condition information” on a significant number of these assets which is why a survey is needed.

This additional funding will support the harbour condition assessment and undertake the assessment work to the Feeder walls and Junction Lock swing bridge.

£30k to repair Stockwood precinct retaining wall

One of the retaining walls around the shopping centre and car park is in danger of collapse and a fence has been put in place to protect people from falling brickwork.

The council has said it is an ongoing safety issue which currently prevents the public from using the space.

£75k Cumberland Road carriageway retaining wall

The wall adjacent to Cumberland Road Railway Bridge has been affected by vegetation and is in urgent need of repair.

£67k Smart City Gully Sensors

This is a project which would see gully sensors installed across the network which would help monitor the potential for flooding.

The council has said that better identification and reaction to potential flooding will reduce the amount of potholes on the network.

£340K carriageway patching and structural repairs to network

Following a full survey of the network using high definition photography the council can identify structurally defective carriageway and potholes on the entire network. They can then use this information to know exactly where to target funding.

For more articles like this, please visit Highways Industry News website.

Live by a noisy road? Highways England might pay for sound insulation

Live by a noisy road? Highways England might pay for sound insulation




Living next to a noisy road can make life a misery, and even impact on health according to numerous studies. The World Health Organisation has even claimed traffic noise to be the second largest environmental problem across the EU.

Highways England runs a scheme to help those who may be most affected by road noise. This applies to people who live in special hotspots, listed by Highways England as “Noise Important Areas”.

There are some 1,130 Noise Important Areas throughout England, typically found in locations where other noise reduction measures such as physical barriers or low noise road surfaces cannot be used.

Highways England wants to help reduce the effect of road noise in 1,000 Noise Important Areas, by undertaking work to improve the noise insulation of affected homes.

How do I know if I live in a Noise Important Area?

To be eligible, homes must be within a designated Noise Important Area containing fewer than 10 properties. These cover the top 1 percent of properties affected by noise from main roads.

In the first instance, Highways England will write to eligible homeowners and tenants, inviting them to apply under the scheme.

If you are unsure on eligibility, contact the Highways England customer contact centre on 0300 123 5000.

I’m eligible. What happens next?

If you are eligible for the scheme, homeowners would first need to contact their mortgage lender/shared ownership scheme operator to ensure they are free to make improvements.

Those in rented accomodation will need to obtain the permission of their landlord. Highways England can contact the property owner on the behalf of tenants.

Also, if your property is a listed building, you may need to contact your local authority to obtain Listed Building Consent before any work can be undertaken.

With the appropriate permissions in place, an application to Highways England will move to the next step, with an assessment from a surveyor.

How does the assessment work?

A surveyor will visit the property at a pre-booked time, and complete a thorough assessment of the current road noise levels, and the best way to mitigate them.

The surveyor will determine which rooms will benefit from noise insulation, take measurements of doors and windows, and produce a report on their findings.

What kind of improvements will be made to my property?

The bulk of the improvements made to insulate against road noise will be targeted at doors and windows.

These will typically only include rooms considered to be ‘noise sensitive’, such as living rooms, bedrooms, dining rooms, and studies. It means you are likely to be out of luck expecting upgraded windows and doors for bathrooms or kitchens.

Work is undertaken on a ‘like for like’ replacement basis, aiming to match the design and construction of existing doors, windows, and bi-fold doors.

Special ventilation measures are also included. These allow air into the rooms on warmer days, but without the need to open windows.

Who will do the work? How do I pay them?

All work will be carried out by contractors directly appointed by Highways England. Those chosen will be subject to Disclosure and Barring Service checks, whilst those fitting uPVC doors and windows will need to meet relevant British Standards.

The contractors will also make good any damage caused to plasterwork and other interior decoration. Highways England are responsible for paying the contractors directly, and will not hand over the money until work is completed satisfactorily.

Once the work is complete, the new doors, windows and ventilation systems become the property of the homeowner. This also means the responsibility for maintenance belongs to the resident, although all new items are guaranteed.

How long is funding available for?

Some £39 million has been made available for the scheme, with more than 600 homes already having received double-glazing upgrades.

Funding will continue until March 2020.

For more articles like this, please visit Highways Industry News website.

No-deal Brexit – Government issues guidance for businesses that use chemicals as part of contingency planning

The Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs and Health and Safety Executive has published new guidance from the UK Government to businesses that use chemicals on the actions they should take now to minimise any disruption in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

The departments said that reaching a deal with the European Union “remains the Government’s top priority however, the Government must prepare for every eventuality, including a no deal scenario.”

In December Environment Minister Michael Gove was questioned by the EEFRA Parliamentary Committee on the potential risks posed to water safety from a possible shortage of chemicals needed to treat water post Brexit. At the time Chair of the Committee Angela Smith remained dissatisfied with his commitment to provide a guarantee that “we will ensure that the drinking water in this country is absolutely safe in the event of exit”

If the UK leaves the EU on 29 March without a deal, UK businesses that manufacture or import chemicals from the EU will have to register those chemicals to a new UK regulatory system.

UK REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) will replace EU REACH and will require businesses to demonstrate how a chemical can be safely used with minimal risk to human health or the environment.

The chemicals sector is the UK’s second biggest manufacturing industry and UK businesses currently hold over 12,000 registrations with REACH.

A ‘no deal’ would mean that a range of other key sectors would also be required to register any imported chemicals they use on UK REACH. This would include the motor manufacturing, cosmetics, construction and cleaning products industries.

Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey said:

“Delivering a negotiated deal with the EU remains the Government’s top priority, but it is the job of a responsible Government to ensure we are prepared for all scenarios, including no deal.”

“It is not just chemicals producers that could be affected by this change so I encourage all businesses that use chemicals to read the guidance on the HSE website and check whether they need to take action.”

Under the new requirements, if the UK leaves the EU without a deal:

  • UK businesses that manufacture a chemical (those currently registered to EU REACH) will need to validate their existing registration with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) within 60 days of the UK leaving the EU.
  • UK businesses that import a chemical substance from the EU will need to notify HSE within 180 days of UK leaving the EU.
  • UK businesses that export chemicals to the EU will need to have an EU REACH registration in place once the UK leaves the EU.

In addition, more technical information will need to be submitted by businesses to HSE within two years of EU Exit.

The requirements are part of the Government’s commitment to maintain environmental standards after the UK leaves the EU.

In order to register on UK REACH in a no deal scenario, businesses need to take the following action:

  • Identify the chemical and quantity that they use;
  • Understand how to register that chemical by reading the EU Exit guidance; and
  • Prepare the information for that registration.

The Health and Safety Executive would act as the lead UK Agency, from the day the UK leaves the EU, building on its existing capacity and capability.

https://www.waterbriefing.org/home/regulation-and-legislation/item/15801-no-deal-brexit-government-issues-guidance-for-businesses-that-use-chemicals-as-part-of-contingency-planning

Innovation and integration will help prevent global water crises

In an Expert Focus article for Waterbriefing, David Smith, Executive Director at Stantec discusses how Innovation and integration will help prevent global water crises and how invention at the intersection of water, energy and agriculture is emerging as a hotspot and attracting growing investment. 

David Smith: Record temperatures hit the UK during the summer of 2018, putting huge pressure on the country’s natural resources and subsequently the agricultural sector. As a result, meat, vegetable and dairy prices are set to rise “at least” 5% in the coming months because of the widespread drought and crop failures across the country. As average temperatures rise on a global scale year-on-year, the way we view the relationship between water, energy and agriculture needs to evolve – an integrated approach is required.

Invention at the intersection of water, energy and agriculture is emerging as a hotspot and attracting growing investment. There is increasing demand for radical innovation, driven by widespread fears about the impacts of global warming on water supplies and food production. From the widespread adoption of ecosystem thinking, to machines as inventors, the future of innovation indicates rapid and radical change.

Over the next decade, systemic, accelerating and radical innovation will likely herald the emergence of an age of mass-automation, cross-border electronic trading in ideas and remote manufacturing. Entirely novel forms of socially inclusive innovation may emerge to create a new economy, focused on sustainability, well-being, quality of life and regeneration of the biosphere.

Breaking boundaries

As some of the boundaries between water, energy and agriculture begin to break down, innovative, system-wide strategies are beginning to be recognised as the principal solution to improving resilience and resource efficiency, and therefore economic performance.

For example, embracing precision agriculture gives the sector the opportunity to monitor, automate and manage water usage. It could make farming more intelligent using technology, ensuring the efficient use of resources, balancing the input/output scale, protecting it from the increasing risk of drought.

Re-inventing the way we use software will help improve yield and enable micro-management of farming, with the emergence of ‘enterprise software’ for agriculture. Other technological applications range from soil sensors and software to optimize fertilizer performance, to localized, micro weather forecasting, water use detectors and monitoring, to insect alerts, crop health systems and livestock management.

Challenges ahead

However, the real challenge will be improving water use. The annual rate of efficiency improvement in agricultural water use between 1990 and 2004 was just one percent across both rain-fed and irrigated areas and there is a long way to go. Were agriculture and industry to sustain this modest rate to 2030, improvements in water efficiency would address only 20 percent of the supply-demand gap, leaving a large deficit to be filled.

As recently as 2010, it was estimated that only US$10 billion was invested around the world in irrigation systems, ‘a surprisingly low figure given the importance of water for the agricultural sector (in comparison, the global market volume for bottled water in the same year was US$59 billion)’. We need more investment in integrated water and agriculture management solutions.

Clearly, ‘water’ and ‘agriculture’ cannot operate in separate, specialist domains as they have for many years. They must be seen in a new context – where water and agriculture, together with energy, integrate and intersect, and only ground-up systemic innovation will help us achieve this.

Djibouti recycles treated urban wastewater for irrigated agriculture

Horn of Africa is a region which is confronting the harsh effects of climate change. Deteriorating coastal and marine ecosystems, more frequent and intense flooding and drought, and mounting food insecurity are some of the challenges that have become an everyday reality. A Global Climate Change Alliance programme has been implemented in Djibouti which aims to simultaneously combat these issues. By recycling treated urban wastewater for irrigated agriculture, the project team has found a cost-effective way to generate substantial economic benefits for local communities.

https://www.waterbriefing.org/home/technology-focus/item/15794-innovation-and-integration-will-help-prevent-global-water-crises

Smart motorway works on M6 in Cheshire almost complete as added lanes open

Smart motorway works which have been ongoing in Cheshire for three years are finally on their way to being completed.

Highways England have reported that the stretch of the M6 between junctions 16 (Crewe) and 19 (Knutsford) has now opened its fourth lane on both carriageways.

New overhead electric signs have also been switched on to provide live information about journey times.

Construction on the motorway began in December 2015 and will finish in March this year following the opening of both added lanes.

The ongoing roadworks have caused headaches for many commuters – particularly considering the spate of traffic collisions that have occurred there in this week alone.

Prior to Christmas the speed limit in the area of roadworks between junctions 18 and 19 was increased to 60mph, which will remain in place while Highways completes testing the technology.

Meanwhile on the stretch of M6 motorway between junctions 16 and 18 a temporary speed limit of 50mph is expected to remain in place until the entire project is complete.

The smart motorway is expected to be fully in operation by the end of February.

Costs of the upgrading roadworks are estimated between £192 to £274 million, according to Highways England.

Smart motorways are controlled from a regional traffic control centre and work by using technology to manage traffic flow.

By monitoring the traffic centres can change signs and speed limits to help keep traffic flowing.

Highways England explain on the Gov website that smart motorways increase the capacity of the road without the expense of widening it.

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