Urban Water Atlas for Europe provides 360° view of water management in cities

The European Commission has published the Urban Water Atlas for Europe showing how different water management choices, as well as other factors such as waste management, climate change and even food preferences, affect the long-term sustainability of water use in cities.

The new atlas – the first of its kind –  illustrates the role of water in European cities and informs citizens as well as local authorities and experts about good practices and cutting-edge developments that can contribute to ensuring that water is used more efficiently and sustainably.

It also attempts to change traditional perceptions of water being a free and infinite resource, and to encourage conservation. Detailed factsheets in the Urban Water Atlas for Europe present the state of water management in more than 40 European cities and regions together with a number of overseas examples.

Water scarcity affects more than 10% of Europe’s population

Tibor Navracsics, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, responsible for the European Commission’s in-house science service, Joint Research Centre (JRC), said:

“Water scarcity affects more than 10 percent of Europe’s population. To foster innovative water management and its public acceptance, scientific and technological knowledge must be accessible for all. The Urban Water Atlas for Europe presents scientific and technical information in an intuitive and creative way, making it easy for everyone to understand what is at stake and act accordingly. This is another great example of how the JRC helps to deliver solutions to the challenges facing Europe’s citizens and the spaces they live in.”

Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries added that a strong water policy is also essential for delivering on Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development both in the EU and internationally.

The atlas was presented during the meeting of Ministers in charge of water management from the 43 members of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), hosted by the Maltese Government in Valetta. The publication is one of the results of the BlueSCities project, funded by Horizon 2020, the EU research and innovation programme.

Online tools to measure city performance

The Atlas comes with two online tools that can help cities manage water more sustainably. The ‘City Blueprint’ is an interactive tool to support strategic decision-making by making it easy to access and understand relevant results and expert knowledge. The tool can present up to 25 different aspects of water management to give an overview of a city’s strong and weak points, and provides tailor-made options for making urban water services more sustainable. The ‘City Amberprint’ is a tool for assessing a city’s progress towards becoming smart and sustainable.

‘City Blueprint’ shows performance in water management

The atlas provides an overall ‘City Blueprint’ for each city. This is a composite index that displays 25 indicators related to water, waste and climate change in one infographic, summarising at a glance how well a city currently manages its urban water resources. The information is important to help identify priorities for further action and investment, but also to visualise strengths and weaknesses. The ‘Blue City Index’ is the overall score based on these 25 indicators.

Water footprint influenced by food preferences

The atlas also presents cities’ ‘Urban Water Footprint’, a measure of domestic water use as well as water use embodied in agricultural products consumed. It aims to raise awareness of the large amount of water used to produce food and the striking difference in water needs among different diets. For example, healthier and low-meat diets could save as much as 30% to 40% of water currently used for food production.

The Urban Water Atlas stems from a collaboration of the European Commission’s in-house science service – the Joint Research Centre – with Fundació CTM Centre Tecnològic, the KWR Watercycle Research Institute, the European Innovation Partnership on Water, and the Network for Water in European Regions and Cities, NETWERC H2O.

AA boss shortlisted for economics prize for ‘road miles’ allowance plan

Edmund King hoping his annual allowance idea will win £250,000 Wolfson Economics prize, which sought ideas from around the world on improving roads.

A proposal from the boss of the AA for drivers to receive an annual “road miles” allowance is among the ideas shortlisted for a £250,000 competition to find new ways of funding the UK road network.

Edmund King, the president of the motoring organisation, has appeared on a shortlist of five entries to win the Wolfson Economics prize, this year awarded for ideas on how to fund better, more reliable roads.

The submission, authored jointly with his wife, the business analyst Deirdre King, envisages a future where drivers receive an annual allowance of “road miles”. As well as trading them, drivers could pay for the right to travel further by entering auctions or lotteries, which would raise more income to maintain the network.

Other ideas include allowing companies to name roads after themselves as an incentive for them to ensure they are pothole-free.

Additional road miles would be granted to drivers with special needs and those with the cleanest, greenest vehicles, King said. “It’s a way of giving free access to the road network but safeguarding further revenues rather than introducing a nationwide charging system that would be political suicide,” he said.

The Kings are joined on the shortlist by an eclectic mix of transport planners from Australia, a Hungarian graduate and a stay-at-home mother who is expecting her third child imminently.

Sir John Kingman, the chairman of the judging panel, said that the hundred-plus entries, which were submitted anonymously to judges including the former Labour chancellor and transport secretary Alistair Darling, contained some “quite funky ideas”, with a Harvard professor among those who had just failed to make the cut.

He said the best entrants had thought deeply about the imminent technological future of autonomous cars, as well as the problem of how to fund roads with fuel and motoring taxes in long-term decline.

Kingman said: “The problem of congestion is very real right now. Motorists are understandably discontented and the existing ways of paying for roads are broken. What we need is a politically viable solution which is popular and the public can see is good for them.

“This is one of the great unsolved policy problems that has plagued British debates for a long time.”

A study by the Institute of Fiscal Studies for the RAC Foundation forecast that Treasury revenues from motorists are due to drop by more than a third to £25bn by the end of the next decade, making a £250,000 award seem cheap at the price.

King said they were not counting any chickens at this stage, but admitted: “An electric car, a Tesla, would be nice.”

The winner of the prize will be announced in July.

http://www.highwaysindustry.com/aa-boss-shortlisted-for-economics-prize-for-road-miles-allowance-plan/

The Morrisons M1? How sponsors could get naming rights for Britain’s motorway

Manchester United could sponsor the M6 motorway to generate funds for investment in roads, the president of the AA has claimed.

Sports teams, supermarkets and tech firms are among the companies who could purchase the naming rights of major roads, Edmund King said.

This could lead to the Morrisons M1, the Microsoft M4 and the Adidas A1, according to the motoring expert.

A US-style Adopt-a-Highway scheme should be considered for local roads, whereby businesses help pay for litter collections in return for roadside advertising, Mr King said.

The ideas are part of his proposal to change the way people are charged for driving in the UK, with the current system meaning motorists pay some of the highest taxes in Europe to use a road network that in some places is congested and deteriorating.

The Road Miles concept, created by Mr King and his wife, business analyst Deirdre, would offer all drivers at least 3,000 free miles each year, with a small charge for further distances, in a bid to reduce non-essential journeys.

It is one of five shortlisted entries for the £250,000 Wolfson economics prize to reduce traffic jams.

Car drivers in the first year would pay less than one pence per mile and there would be concessions for those living in the most rural areas and the disabled.

A nationwide lottery and an auction of extra miles would be used to keep the scheme’s costs down and fund maintenance such as pothole repairs.

The proposal would see fuel duty drop from 58 pence per litre to 47 pence within five years, and more than £3 billion in extra investment for roads could be generated.

Mr King claimed Road Miles would be “miles better, fairer, greener, safer”.

He went on: “Drivers fed up with current cones, congestion, and chaos, will be compensated for delays and have a say in how our roads are run.”

His wife said: “Road Miles will bridge the gap between falling fuel duty revenue and the electric vehicle revolution.

“More money will be available for roads yet the motorist will pay less as extra income from the Road Miles lottery, naming rights and auction will supplement revenues.”

The prize, founded by Lord Wolfson, chief executive of clothing giant Next, will be awarded in July.

Lord Wolfson said: “Road congestion is a source of daily misery for millions of people: undermining our quality of life, environment and economy.

“As the political parties put together their programmes for government, they would do well to turn their attention to the plight facing users of Britain’s road network.

“The creativity and enthusiasm demonstrated by the entrants to the 2017 prize has been inspiring.”

Carrington West Shortlisted for IRP Award!

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The team at Carrington West are delighted to have been short listed for an IRP Award. Operated by the recruitment industry’s governing body the REC, the IRP awards are the UK’s most prestigious and widely recognised. Carrington West have been short listed in the “Best Company to Work For” category which acknowledges the organisation’s vision and values, people development, community engagement, employee benefits, employee satisfaction and ethical people management.

The management team and staff alike have long known this to be a great place to work and now this has been recognised nationally, this as a huge achievement, and one for which we are very proud. The awards take place in December 2015. Our most important asset is our staff and we are constantly looking for our next star. If you have a proven background in the recruitment industry and are keen to know more about a career at Carrington West, please call 02392 704037 or visit our “Work for Us” page Carringtonwest.com/Work-for-us

 

South East Water begin work to replace 7.5km pipeline in ambitious upgrade

Work starts on the water pipe at Lower Farnham Road

Work starts on the water pipe at Lower Farnham Road

A multi-million pound scheme to safeguard water supplies in Aldershot , Ash and Farnham ‘for generations to come’ got underway this week.

South East Water (SEW) is embarking on an ambitious project to lay a new 7.5km pipeline from Aldershot to its service reservoir along the A31 Hog’s Back.

Work got underway on Monday, following extensive preparatory work and public consultation earlier this year, which will see road closures and diversions put in place for the best part of 18 months.

SEW is proposing to invest more than £400m in its water network through 2020, with the scheme affecting the Surrey-Hampshire border set to be one of its most extensive.

The 7.5km works will be carried out by contractor Cla

Clancy Docwra and has been split into three distinct phases.

SEW’s aim is to install a new pipeline running from the company’s storage reservoir in Boxall’s Lane, Aldershot, all the way to the service reservoir near the A31.

This will see works run from Aldershot, beneath the A331 Blackwater Valley Route into Tongham (phase one), and eastwards to Ash Green (phase two).

There, the project will turn 90 degrees southwards and run to the reservoir near the A31 (phase three).

SEW is hoping to have the full upgrade completed by November 2016.

On Monday, workmen arrived in Tongham Road, Aldershot, and began work near Connaught School, with works also ongoing in nearby Lower Farnham Road.

The workforce has been divided into two groups, the first aiming to complete the work in Tongham Road by Christmas, although SEW is aiming to finish up in the Connaught School area before the end of the school holidays.

A second troop working in Lower Farnham Road will progress towards its junction with Boxalls Lane and Morland Road by Christmas this year.

They will then complete the Aldershot leg of the project by mid-April 2016, working westwards towards SEW’s base in Boxall’s Lane. The crossover into Tongham beneath the A331 will take place in the New Year.

Diversions have been signed posted, and more details of the entire scheme are available from SEW’s website, as well as changes to bus routes and timetables.

The public right of way from Spoil Lane in Tongham to Ash Green Lane West in Ash Green will be closed for the duration of the works.

Businesses and residents have long been bracing themselves for disruption following two public consultations held back in April this year.

While SEW has pledged to keep disruption to a minimum, there were complaints earlier in the year Aldershot was currently being ‘besieged’ by constant utility works, particularly in and around Lower Farnham Road.

It comes just a month after SEW completed an £85,000 project to replace a 350m section of pipeline in Aldershot town centre following six bursts in just five years.

Chris Love, SEW’s delivery manager, said: “Work starts in a number of locations to make sure we get this essential project finished as soon as possible.

“I would like to thank everyone for being patient and bearing with us while we are working in the community. I know road closures are a pain, but the longer term benefits of this pipeline will be felt for generations to come.”

Fact box:

Phase One: Aldershot to A331; Boxalls Lane, Lower Farnham Road, Tongham Road.

Phase Two: Tongham to Ash Green; The Moors, Lambourne Way, Northside, Ash Green Lane West, Ash Green Lane East, Pound Farm Lane.

Phase Three: Ash Green to Hog’s Back; southwards beneath greenspace to A31 carriageway border.

United Utilities shares aqueduct knowledge with New York

United Utilities (UU) is in the middle of a knowledge-sharing exercise with the New York Water Department as the two companies prepare for maintenance work on two of their major aqueducts.

Water Pipes

Water Pipes

Staff from UU have just returned from a visit to New York following a partnership struck up between the two water companies on how they will deal with taking water supply aqueducts offline for maintenance purposes.

The New York Water Department is starting its work preparing for maintenance work on its Catskill aqueduct, which supplies 40 per cent of Manhattan, and is seeking to learn from UU about how to handle the outage of the Haweswater aqueduct.

UU project manager for Haweswater John Butcher toldUtility Week the key areas of knowledge-sharing have been around site security, construction site engineering, and resilience.

He said: “The principles remain the same in terms of operation in that they are gravity systems, and that they’ve been around for a long time and now need some TLC.

“This means taking them out of service and resilience is a big issue in New York as they have three pipelines that supply 9.5 million people.”

Butcher added that UU was “slightly ahead” in its resilience planning because it conducted the first shutdown of the aqueduct two years ago and has a wider variety of water sources and treatment works.

He said resilience planning was now taking place in New York, with lessons from UU on managing water supplies being applied.

Alongside this, the Americans are also keen to learn about what they may find when they inspect the Catskill aqueduct. “They are very keen to find out about our shutdown, what we did and what we found out when we went in for that first inspection,” Butcher said. “They are also keen to find out what our second inspection will find too as they may face some of the same issues.”

Staff from the New York Water Department are due to head to the UK for the second shutdown of the Haweswater aqueduct, scheduled for October, to gain further knowledge on how to operate a shutdown and how to develop resilient water supplies to cope with the aqueduct closure.

New Cardiff Central railway station plans unveiled

The front of the station will be glass but the original entrance will remain

The front of the station will be glass but the original entrance will remain

Fresh plans have been drawn up for the biggest transformation of Cardiff Central railway station since it was built in the 1850s.

Last year, Network Rail released images that included a wave effect roof but this has now been stripped back to a more standard glass-fronted entrance.

There would also be new retail space and a mezzanine floor.

 

 

The work coincides with plans to revamp that area of the city centre which is where the new BBC building will be.

A new bus terminal is also being built in the area.

The earliest work on the station could start in 2019 but Network Rail has yet to fully cost the multimillion-pound plans.

Other works at the station are being carried out, including a new south entrance.

Currently, 13 million people use Cardiff Central per year and that figure is expected to grow to 23 million by 2023.

Mark Langman, route managing director for Network Rail Wales, said: “Our railway is carrying almost 50% more passengers than we were 10 years ago and that number is predicted to grow significantly in the years ahead, with up to 32m passengers forecast to use Cardiff Central station by 2043.

“There is still more to do to meet future demand and to build a station fit for a capital city.”

Train station platforms
The platforms will be transformed as part of the revamp
Train station concourse
Overhead walkways and shops will form part of the new-look station

Investors in People

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Carrington West are proud to announce being awarded the Investors in People Standard, demonstrating their commitment to realising the potential of their people.

Investors in People is the UK’s leading accreditation for business improvement through people management, and provides a wealth of resources for businesses to innovate, improve and grow, with a focus on good people making great business.

Paul Devoy, Head of Investors in People, said: “Achieving the Investors in People standard is something that any organisation should be truly proud of. Working with Investors in People inspires and enables leaders, managers and employees at all levels to build their skills, improve their performance and achieve their potential. We’d like to congratulate Carrington West on their achievement.”

For more information about Investors in People please visit www.investorsinpeople.co.uk

VIDEO | New footbridge installed on the A27 near Chichester

Highways England has released a time-lapse video of a new footbridge installed on the A27 near Chichester, West Sussex.

The £3.22m bridge was installed overnight following months of preparation and will be opened to the public in the coming weeks. It will provide a safe crossing for walkers, cyclists, residents and school children.

Peter Phillips, Highways England Asset Manager said:

“This new footbridge will provide pedestrians with a safe way to cross the busy A27. It will link communities south of the A27 with Chichester town centre, and help improve access to the leisure facilities and walking routes south of the A27. It will also be a key link to and from the new Chichester Free School. After months of planning the bridge has been successfully lifted into place. Installing the bridge deck is one of the final milestones, and we’re looking forward to opening the footbridge soon.”

The bridge took 26 weeks to build with up to 14 people per day working on it in the factory. Meanwhile the team in Chichester have been busy creating the supports for the bridge and the access to the new ramps, which will be installed over the next couple of weeks.

Ian Spellacey, Highways Services Director, Balfour Beatty said:

“Working together with Highways England, West Sussex Council and our contractor Interserve over the last six years, BBMM is proud to deliver a footbridge that connects communities and enhances the built environment.”

Source : http://www.highwaysindustry.com/video-new-footbridge-installed-on-the-a27-near-chichester/

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