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Peterborough, United Kingdom

Pullan S.P.,Cranfield University | Whelan M.J.,University of Leicester | Rettino J.,Severn Trent Water | Filby K.,Severn Trent Water | And 2 more authors.
Science of the Total Environment

This paper describes the development and application of IMPT (Integrated Model for Pesticide Transport), a parameter-efficient tool for predicting diffuse-source pesticide concentrations in surface waters used for drinking water supply. The model was applied to a small UK headwater catchment with high frequency (8 h) pesticide monitoring data and to five larger catchments (479-1653 km2) with sampling approximately every 14 days. Model performance was good for predictions of both flow (Nash Sutcliffe Efficiency generally >0.59 and PBIAS <10%) and pesticide concentrations, although low sampling frequency in the larger catchments is likely to mask the true episodic nature of exposure. The computational efficiency of the model, along with the fact that most of its parameters can be derived from existing national soil property data mean that it can be used to rapidly predict pesticide exposure in multiple surface water resources to support operational and strategic risk assessments. © 2016 The Authors. Source

Hartshorn A.J.,Anglian Water | Prpich G.,Cranfield University | Upton A.,Cranfield University | Macadam J.,Cranfield University | And 2 more authors.
Water and Environment Journal

This investigation explores the use of five-parameter logistic curve fitting in quantifying turbidity robustness and risk scoring in clarification and filtrations stages of several surface water treatment works in the Anglian Water region of the United Kingdom. The approach taken reviews different scoring systems and addresses issues of weighting, averages and variability in robustness performance using turbidity robustness indices (TRIs). It also proposes an area-based risk scoring profile to assess performance [relative area profile for T90 (RAP90)]. The metrics produced are considered to be a logical and rational way to help prioritise where resources for water treatment operation should be deployed. © 2014 CIWEM. Source

Lumbroso D.M.,HR Wallingford | Twigger-Ross C.,Collingwood Environmental Planning | Raffensperger J.,JFR Decision Research Ltd. | Harou J.J.,University of Manchester | And 3 more authors.
Water Resources Management

It is widely recognised that the current abstraction licensing system in England needs to be reformed to meet the challenges of future environmental flow requirements, likely increases in water demands and climate change. The UK Government has committed to the reform of the abstraction regime in England and work is underway, including the Welsh Government, to assess the impacts of different reform options, working closely with stakeholders. International experience reveals that the complexity of water management at a national level lends itself to common principles but ultimately that local solutions are required at a catchment-level to manage such challenges. Historically the number of abstraction licences traded in England is negligible. In the future the trading of abstraction licences and derivative water rights, for example water quotas, could play a key role in improving water use efficiency. This paper describes research that was carried out to add to this evidence base in the Upper Ouse and Bedford Ouse catchment in East Anglia with a number of stakeholders to document their response to two innovative water trading systems which have been termed "improved pair-wise" trading and the "common pool" approach. Improved pair-wise trading would allow for a hierarchy of types of short-term abstraction licence trades. Some trades between specific points in a catchment might be pre-approved if the risks to the environment were deemed acceptable. The common pool approach is based on the trading of water quotas, using "smart market" methods, which enable economic optimisation of market outcomes based on abstractors' bids subject to realistic hydrological constraints. This method would allow all abstractors to bid into a common pool on a weekly basis to obtain their water. Both methods were demonstrated via two workshops to investigate the barriers and facilitators to water trading in practice. Participants were cautiously interested in the benefits offered by both methods, especially the ability to trade water at short notice. However, for these trading methods to play a key role in the reform of abstraction licensing the abstractors must have sufficient confidence that the underlying methods are sufficiently equitable, reliable and accurate. © 2014 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht. Source

Agency: GTR | Branch: NERC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 546.76K | Year: 2015

Engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) are found in many consumer products including cosmetics and personal hygiene goods. Nanomaterials are also found in additives for diesel fuels to improve fuel efficiency. These materials will come into contact with the environment, for example, if they are washed down the sink, or if they become airbourne, however we currently have no idea about whether they are hazardous or not and regulations are not in place to control their release or treatment. The life cycle of ENMs in the environment is not known and there exist large knowledge gaps in this field. The reason for this is that the concentrations and properties of ENMs in consumer products are largely unknown (or not indicated by companies). Very little is known about the behaviour or lifetime of ENMs in the water effluent and soils as its extremely hard to monitor this behaviour, as we do not have the tools to detect these tiny materials in very complex environments. This project will apply new and sophisticated experimental characterization tools for predicting potential environmental risks associated with the use of selected consumer products incorporating ZnO, Ag, TiO2 and CeO2 ENMs. An overarching goal is to evaluate which are the critical charateristics of ENMs (size, chemistry etc.) which may cause damage to the environment through two of the most predominant environmental pathways - from the effluent of a waste water treatment plant to waters and also from sewage sludge to soils. This information will ultimately to provide guidance to regulators on policy and to industry about how to design safe classes of ENMs and mitigate against risk, while avoiding overregulation. Avoiding overregulation is vital, as we do not want to re-experience what happened e.g. at Fukushima, where 160,000 people were forced to relocated without need, since the risk presented to regulators and the government was too high. This has since resulted in 1,599 deaths, as the displaced residents are suffering from health problems, alcoholism and high rates of suicide. Our team has an extensive track record in developing unique techniques to track these nanomaterials in complex environments and will apply their knowledge of this field to tackle this extremely pertinent concern. The projects experimental approaches include both physical science experiments and toxicological approaches, generating results to improve our limited understanding of the potential environmental hazards. The results generated from the project will also contribute to our very limited knowledge on various aspects of the fate, transport, bioavailability, and ecotoxicity of ENMs and will allow us to answer questions such as can toxic doses of ENMs reach organisms or are these concentrations negligible at the point of exposure to the organism?, if they are toxic, is it possible to re-engineer ENMs such that they do not present a risk, do the nanomaterials dissolve or change their chemistry in the environment and ultimately detoxify and how does this vary between the different nanomaterials?, which nanomaterials present the greatest risk and how do we minimise the environmental and health risks of these hazardous materials without overly precautionary regulations. This multifaceted strategy will make a major development in understanding the fate of ENMs in the environment to guide policy regulation whilst avoiding unnecessary overregulation, and ultimately guide the safe development of these materials for future commercial exploitation.

Nandha M.,Anglian Water | Nandha M.,Cranfield University | Berry M.,Anglian Water | Jefferson B.,Cranfield University | Jeffrey P.,Cranfield University
Environmental Earth Sciences

Managed aquifer recharge (MAR) provides a sustainable method to store large volumes of water. However, uncertainties around the associated risks, initial costs and regulatory regime are key influences on its development in the UK. This paper reports a critical review of available risk management frameworks as a first step towards the development of an assessment framework suitable for MAR schemes in the UK. Classification of risks across the MAR process involved deconstructing the process into functional elements; pre-treatment, recharge, storage, recovery, and post-treatment prior to final use, with each element presenting a range of risks to different receptors. An initial listing of seven potential frameworks were reduced to three (hazard and critical control point analysis, the world health organisation’s water safety plans and the Australian guidelines for water recycling using MAR) for detailed assessment. Although the hazard and critical control point analysis and the water safety plans may be adapted for use in MAR, they do not provide specific guidance for potential risks associated with aquifer recharge schemes. Furthermore, neither of them adequately addresses the risks associated with the recharge, storage and recovery elements of a scheme. The Australian guidelines provide guidance specific to MAR and are particularly effective in considering risk to these elements. The main conclusion is that although the Australian guidelines focus on potential hazards and might thereby not be suitable for identifying more process oriented considerations, they do constitute a robust basis for developing a framework for risk management for MAR schemes in the UK. © 2014, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. Source

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