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News Article | May 11, 2017
Site: www.marketwired.com

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - May 11, 2017) - Capstone Infrastructure Corporation (TSX:CSE.PR.A) (the "Corporation") today reported results for the quarter ended March 31, 2017. The Corporation's 2017 Management's Discussion and Analysis and unaudited interim consolidated financial statements are available at www.capstoneinfrastructure.com and on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. All amounts are in Canadian dollars. Capstone's activity in the first quarter of 2017 included producing enough eligible power to receive $3.7 million in government grant funding at Whitecourt, Capstone's biomass facility, as well as ongoing discussions with BC Hydro for a new Electricity Purchase Agreement ("EPA") for the Sechelt Creek hydro facility. On March 1, 2017, Capstone entered into a facility agreement for the Sechelt Creek hydro facility with the shíshálh Nation, which will result in minority equity ownership by the shíshálh Nation and profit sharing for the project. In addition, the Settler's Landing wind facility achieved commercial operations on April 5, 2017 and Capstone sold its interest in the Värmevärden district heating utilities business and repatriated the proceeds. The proceeds from the Värmevärden sale were used to satisfy the promissory note held by Irving Infrastructure Corp. ("Irving"), as well as return capital to Irving, the common shareholder. Furthermore, litigation proceedings with the Ontario Electricity Financial Corporation (the "OEFC") concluded on January 19, 2017. During the first quarter of 2017, revenue increased by $8.9 million, or 26%, due to contributions from new wind facilities constructed in 2016, as well as from the government grants earned by Whitecourt. The increase was partially offset by decreased revenue from the hydro and solar facilities, as well as from the pre-existing wind facilities. Expenses decreased by $5.2 million, or 26%, primarily due to lower staff costs and professional fees associated with the acquisition by Irving, a subsidiary of iCON Infrastructure Partners III, L.P. ("iCON III"), in 2016. This decrease was partially offset by higher expenses for the new wind facilities. EBITDA in the quarter increased by $20.3 million, or 231%, mainly reflecting the factors noted above. Net income increased by $113.2 million, primarily due to a $128.1 million gain from the sale of Värmevärden. The increase was partially offset by the 2016 contributions from Bristol Water, which Capstone sold in December 2016. As at March 31, 2017, the Corporation had unrestricted cash and cash equivalents of $58.2 million, including $35.5 million at the power segment which is accessible to Capstone through distributions and $22.7 million in total cash and cash equivalents available for general corporate purposes. In addition, Capstone was in a net current liability position of $10.2 million. The deficit mainly results from a $40.5 million increase in the current portion of long-term debt, including a $12.5 million increase in upcoming payments for the the Capstone Power Corp. ("CPC") credit facility, as well as $38.3 million in project debt at Sky Generation LP. Capstone is evaluating options to refinance the Sky Generation LP debt balances maturing in February 2018. Further, Capstone expects to repay the CPC debt from future operating cash flows, as per the terms of the credit facility. On April 1, 2017, Andrew Kennedy was appointed as Chief Financial Officer of Capstone and as a member of the board of directors. Michael Smerdon, Capstone's outgoing Chief Financial Officer, remains on Capstone's board of directors. Mr. Smerdon assumed the position of Chief Executive Officer of iCON Infrastructure Canada Inc. ("iCON Canada"), a subsidiary of iCON Infrastructure LLP and related party to Capstone. Mr. Smerdon leads the activities of iCON Canada and is responsible for driving investments and growth across Canada and the United States. On May 10, 2017, Paul Smith was appointed as a member of Capstone's board of directors. Mr. Smith, who was previously the non-executive chairman of CPC, brings a breadth of operations experience to the board. He has served as Managing Director, Generation at SSE plc (formerly known as Scottish & Southern Energy PLC) and is currently a non-executive director of Scottish Water. He also operates an independent consultancy business, PRS Energy Solutions Ltd. The board of directors today declared a quarterly dividend on the Corporation's Cumulative Five-Year Rate Reset Preferred Shares, Series A (the "Preferred Shares") of $0.2044 per Preferred Share to be paid on or about July 28, 2017 to shareholders of record at the close of business on July 14, 2017. The dividend on the Preferred Shares covers the period from April 30, 2017 to July 30, 2017. The dividends paid by the Corporation on its Preferred Shares are designated "eligible" dividends for the purposes of the Income Tax Act (Canada). An enhanced dividend tax credit applies to eligible dividends paid to Canadian residents. Capstone's mission is to provide investors with an attractive total return from responsibly managed long-term investments in power generation in North America. The Corporation's strategy is to develop, acquire and manage a portfolio of high quality power facilities that operate in a contractually-defined environment and generate stable cash flow. Capstone currently owns, operates and develops thermal and renewable power generation facilities in North America with a total installed capacity of net 509 megawatts. Please visit www.capstoneinfrastructure.com for more information. Certain of the statements contained within this document are forward-looking and reflect management's expectations regarding the future growth, results of operations, performance and business of Capstone Infrastructure Corporation (the "Corporation") based on information currently available to the Corporation. Forward-looking statements are provided for the purpose of presenting information about management's current expectations and plans relating to the future and readers are cautioned that such statements may not be appropriate for other purposes. These statements use forward-looking words, such as "anticipate", "continue", "could", "expect", "may", "will", "intend", "estimate", "plan", "believe" or other similar words, and include, among other things, statements found in "Results of Operations" and "Financial Position Review". These statements are subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results or events to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements and, accordingly, should not be read as guarantees of future performance or results. The forward-looking statements within this document are based on information currently available and what the Corporation currently believes are reasonable assumptions, including the material assumptions set out in the management's discussion and analysis of the results of operations and the financial condition of the Corporation ("MD&A") for the year ended December 31, 2016 under the headings "Changes in the Business", "Results of Operations" and "Financial Position Review", as updated in subsequently filed MD&A of the Corporation (such documents are available under the Corporation's SEDAR profile at www.sedar.com). Other potential material factors or assumptions that were applied in formulating the forward-looking statements contained herein include or relate to the following: that the business and economic conditions affecting the Corporation's operations will continue substantially in their current state, including, with respect to industry conditions, general levels of economic activity, regulations, weather, taxes and interest rates; that the preferred shares will remain outstanding and that dividends will continue to be paid on the preferred shares; that there will be no material delays in the Corporation's wind development projects achieving commercial operation; that the Corporation's power infrastructure facilities will experience normal wind, hydrological and solar irradiation conditions, and ambient temperature and humidity levels; that there will be no material changes to the Corporation's facilities, equipment or contractual arrangements; that there will be no material changes in the legislative, regulatory and operating framework for the Corporation's businesses; that there will be no material delays in obtaining required approvals for the Corporation's power infrastructure facilities; that there will be no material changes in environmental regulations for the power infrastructure facilities; that there will be no significant event occurring outside the ordinary course of the Corporation's businesses; the refinancing on similar terms of the Corporation's and its subsidiaries' various outstanding credit facilities and debt instruments which mature during the period in which the forward-looking statements relate; that the conversion rights pursuant to the convertible debenture issued in connection with the Grey Highlands ZEP wind facility, the Ganaraska wind facility, the Snowy Ridge wind facility and the Settlers Landing wind facility are exercised; market prices for electricity in Ontario and the amount of hours that Cardinal is dispatched; the price that Whitecourt will receive for its electricity production considering the market price for electricity in Alberta, the impact of renewable energy credits, and Whitecourt's agreement with Millar Western, which includes sharing mechanisms regarding the price received for electricity sold by the facility; and the re-contracting of the power purchase agreement ("PPA") for Sechelt. Although the Corporation believes that it has a reasonable basis for the expectations reflected in these forward-looking statements, actual results may differ from those suggested by the forward-looking statements for various reasons, including: risks related to the Corporation's securities (controlling shareholder, dividends on common shares and preferred shares are not guaranteed; and volatile market price for the Corporation's securities); risks related to the Corporation and its businesses (availability of debt and equity financing; default under credit agreements and debt instruments; geographic concentration; foreign currency exchange rates; acquisitions, development and integration; environmental, health and safety; changes in legislation and administrative policy; and reliance on key personnel); and risks related to the Corporation's power infrastructure facilities (market price for electricity; power purchase agreements; completion of the Corporation's wind development projects; operational performance; contract performance and reliance on suppliers; land tenure and related rights; environmental; and regulatory environment). For a comprehensive description of these risk factors, please refer to the "Risk Factors" section of the Corporation's Annual Information Form dated March 24, 2017, as supplemented by disclosure of risk factors contained in any subsequent annual information form, material change reports (except confidential material change reports), business acquisition reports, interim financial statements, interim management's discussion and analysis and information circulars filed by the Corporation with the securities commissions or similar authorities in Canada (which are available under the Corporation's SEDAR profile at www.sedar.com). The assumptions, risks and uncertainties described above are not exhaustive and other events and risk factors could cause actual results to differ materially from the results and events discussed in the forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements within this document reflect current expectations of the Corporation as at the date of this document and speak only as at the date of this document. Except as may be required by applicable law, the Corporation does not undertake any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements. This document is not an offer or invitation for the subscription or purchase of or a recommendation of securities. It does not take into account the investment objectives, financial situation and particular needs of any investors. Before making an investment in the Corporation, an investor or prospective investor should consider whether such an investment is appropriate to their particular investment needs, objectives and financial circumstances and consult an investment adviser if necessary.


ZURICH, SWITZERLAND / ACCESSWIRE / May 11, 2017 / About 7 months ago, International Wastewater Systems Inc. (CSE: IWS; Frankfurt: IWI) announced that its wholly owned subsidiary SHARC Energy Systems (UK) Ltd. formed a strategic alliance with Scottish Water Horizons Ltd., the commercial subsidiary of Scottish Water, a public water utility owned 100% by the Scottish Government. Now, the starting shot for this major alliance occurred, as IWS announced that it has been awarded grant support to facilitate the installation of SHARC wastewater heat recovery systems at 5 locations across Scotland totaling £9.8 million GBP ($17.3 million CAD). In the press-release, Lynn Mueller, CEO of IWS, commented that "the contracts being awarded today by the Scottish Government provide the Company with first 5 of the 750 sites identified for conversion in Scotland, these are the culmination of over two years of hard work by the Company and its employees. This announcement is the game changer which the Company has been waiting for." This means that IWS will receive a total of £9.8 million GBP for the installation of 5 SHARC systems, which puts the price tag for a single SHARC at £1.96 million GBP ($3.5 million CAD) on average. If indeed 750 SHARC systems will be installed in Scotland, it becomes clear that this represents a £1.5 billion GBP ($2.6 billion CAD) opportunity for IWS, which company currently has a market capitalization of $24 million CAD. On top of all that, IWS will receive 20 years of renewable heat incentive payments. The full report can be accessed with the following links: Disclaimer: Please read the full disclaimer within the full research report as a PDF as fundamental risks and conflicts of interest exist.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: IA | Phase: WATER-1b-2015 | Award Amount: 8.13M | Year: 2016

INNOQUA will accelerate the path to market of a modular set of innovative, patent protected, award winning and scalable fully ecological sanitation solutions that address wide market needs in rural communities, for agricultural industries, for sustainable home-builders or collective housing owners and for developing countries worldwide. The modular system is based on the purification capacity of biological organisms (worms, zooplankton and microorganism) and sorption materials bringing ecological, safe and affordable sanitation capacity where it is needed most while fully addressing the thematic and cross cutting priorities of the EIP on Water. We will perform demonstration scale deployment and resulting exploitation of the system to include commercial development, technology integration, eco-design, controlled environment pilots (in NUI Galway facilities in Ireland and UDG facilities in Spain), real use demo sites and market uptake preparation in several EU and non-EU countries (France, Italy, Ireland, Romania, UK, Ecuador, Peru, India and Tanzania), and further preparation for post project uptake. Such an integrated solution is innovative and has not been employed in the past. This integrated but modular solution for the final reuse of wastewater is particularly attractive for small to medium remote water stressed European communities with high water demand for either agriculture and/or the conservation of natural freshwater ecosystems. The system is aimed at being a sustainable solution for zero wastewater production with the complete reuse of wastewater. The system is ideal for small to medium scale situations where an integrated solution for the treatment of wastewater is required to reduce the waste directed to surface freshwaters for the attainment of good quality water, as stated by the Water Framework Directive. The robust but efficient technologies are also ideal for deployment in markets where resources are limited and skilled staff unavailable.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: ENV.2010.3.1.1-1 | Award Amount: 9.27M | Year: 2011

The European project initiative TRUST will produce knowledge and guidance to support TRansitions to Urban Water Services of Tomorrow, enabling communities to achieve sustainable, low-carbon water futures without compromising service quality. We deliver this ambition through close collaboration with problem owners in ten participating pilot city regions under changing and challenging conditions in Europe and Africa. Our work provides research driven innovations in governance, modelling concepts, technologies, decision support tools, and novel approaches to integrated water, energy, and infrastructure asset management. An extended understanding of the performance of contemporary urban water services will allow detailed exploration of transition pathways. Urban water cycle analysis will include use of an innovative systems metabolism model, derivation of key performance indicators, risk assessment, as well as broad stakeholder involvement and an analysis of public perceptions and governance modes. A number of emerging technologies in water supply, waste and storm water treatment and disposal, in water demand management and in the exploitation of alternative water sources will be analysed in terms of their cost-effectiveness, performance, safety and sustainability. Cross-cutting issues include innovations in urban asset management and water-energy nexus strengthening. The most promising interventions will be demonstrated and legitimised in the urban water systems of the ten participating pilot city regions. TRUST outcomes will be incorporated into planning guidelines and decision support tools, will be subject to life-cycle assessment, and be shaped by regulatory considerations as well as potential environmental, economic and social impacts. Outputs from the project will catalyse transformatory change in both the form and management of urban water services and give utilities increased confidence to specify innovative solutions to a range of pressing challenges.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2013.2.2 | Award Amount: 3.27M | Year: 2014

Through the DRONIC project, the consortium will showcase a new, innovative blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) monitoring and treatment robotic system, that can localize hotpots of blue-green algae blooms and only treats the part of the lake which is experiencing blue-green algae bloom. Because of the direct and localized treatment, the system is environmentally friendly, with a minimal impact on the ecology of the lake.The new water robot concerns the retrieval, prevention and abatement of harmful algae blooms in lakes and in inland water reservoirs used for drinking water production.\n\nIn lakes and reservoirs, species of blue-green algae and their concentrations can vary locally due to wind or water flow direction and local variations in temperature, nutrients and depths. In lakes and reservoirs, hotspots of blue-green algal blooms can be often detected only in one area of the water body whereas other areas experience no problems due to blue-green algae. Therefore, it is important to map the algal concentration over extended at flexible, different areas in order to localize algal hotspots. The mobility of the robot will allow targeted intensive algae reduction at hotspot locations, thereby increasing the efficiency of the abatement measure.\n\nMeasurements directly related to algae concentration will be combined with measures of water quality and dimension related parameters to locate the algae, make an estimation of the local water quality and hydrographic parameters.\n\nThis new robotic approach offers the first cost-effective method to control algal blooms in larger lakes, reservoirs, canals and rivers with low water velocity (< 1 m/s). With DRONIC technology blooms of blue-green algae will be treated locally at the place where the blooms are present and there is no need to treat the complete surface of the lake or reservoir anymore. Besides that, with the local use of higher power ultrasound, also the cyanobacterial by-products like toxins can be neutralized.


SMi Group release new interview with Innovation Manager of Sutton and East Surrey Water, Jeremy Heath, ahead of his talk at the 6th Annual Smart Water Systems this April. London, United Kingdom, February 15, 2017 --( At the conference, Jeremy will discuss the smart network developments by giving an update on data collection, processing, display and mobilisation. With over 20 years of experience in the Water Industry, and a background in both mechanical engineering and database applications, Jeremy is responsible for the management of innovation within SESW. This involves both the development of an innovation culture and the introduction of new technologies into the Water Industry, in particular the Smart Water Network. This innovative network will be built on enhanced sensors, a communication layer, intelligent processing, intuitive graphical displays and workforce mobilisation. In the run up to the conference, SMi spoke to Jeremy about his work and data communications. How would you define the smart water industry from your view? "We’re still finding our way a bit. The technologies involved are really new and stitching them all together into a workable solution is a real task. It takes a challenging combination of IT, communication systems, network knowledge, data analysis and presentation solutions, and many of these are at the cutting/bleeding edge. However, there is real enthusiasm for a working solution and we are seeing some really great trials." How does Sutton & East Surrey Water prevent DRIP? "A lot of it is about data ownership. Ensure that staff make good use of the data and feel a sense of responsibility for making sure it is correct. The other key point is to process and disseminate the data as near to real time as possible. When data is trustworthy, accurate and timely, it is an invaluable tool." What improvements does the smart water industry need? "Discussions with our customers to develop the most effective use cases for the smart networks. There is a danger that we carry out this work simply because the opportunity is there, but these networks must drive both increased network knowledge and customer satisfaction." The full interview is available to read in the event download centre at http://www.smart-water-systems.com/prcom. Notable presenters at the conference include: Thames Water, Scottish Government, WaterSmart Software, United Utilities, Veolia, Northumbrian Water, Severn Trent, Southern Water, Energy Saving Trust, Irish Water, University of Exeter. Latest registered attendees for the event include: Anglian Water, Jersey Water, Thames Water, Bristol Water, South East Water, South Staffs Water, Scottish Water, Oxera, Kamstrup, Wheatley Associates Ltd, VCS Denmark, De Watergroep, RWE and Sensus UK Systems Ltd. For an example of who you could meet, please download the past attendee list from our website. For those looking to attend, there is a £100 early bird saving available online ending on 28th February 2017. SMi’s 6th annual conference: Smart Water Systems 24th - 25th April 2017 Copthorne Tara Hotel, London UK http://www.smart-water-systems.com/prcom Contact Information: Media: contact Theresa Chung on +44 (0)20 7827 6068 or email tchung@smi-online.co.uk Delegate Registration: contact Andrew Gibbons on Tel: +44 (0)20 7827 6156 / Email: agibbons@smi-online.co.uk About SMi Group Established since 1993, the SMi Group is a global event-production company that specializes in Business-to-Business Conferences, Workshops, Masterclasses and online Communities. We create and deliver events in the Defence, Security, Energy, Utilities, Finance and Pharmaceutical industries. We pride ourselves on having access to the world’s most forward thinking opinion leaders and visionaries, allowing us to bring our communities together to Learn, Engage, Share and Network. More information can be found at http://www.smi-online.co.uk London, United Kingdom, February 15, 2017 --( PR.com )-- SMi Group have released an interview with Jeremy Heath, Innovation Manager at Sutton and East Surrey Water, ahead of his talk at the 6th annual Smart Water Systems conference in London on 24 and 25th April 2017.At the conference, Jeremy will discuss the smart network developments by giving an update on data collection, processing, display and mobilisation.With over 20 years of experience in the Water Industry, and a background in both mechanical engineering and database applications, Jeremy is responsible for the management of innovation within SESW. This involves both the development of an innovation culture and the introduction of new technologies into the Water Industry, in particular the Smart Water Network. This innovative network will be built on enhanced sensors, a communication layer, intelligent processing, intuitive graphical displays and workforce mobilisation.In the run up to the conference, SMi spoke to Jeremy about his work and data communications.How would you define the smart water industry from your view?"We’re still finding our way a bit. The technologies involved are really new and stitching them all together into a workable solution is a real task. It takes a challenging combination of IT, communication systems, network knowledge, data analysis and presentation solutions, and many of these are at the cutting/bleeding edge. However, there is real enthusiasm for a working solution and we are seeing some really great trials."How does Sutton & East Surrey Water prevent DRIP?"A lot of it is about data ownership. Ensure that staff make good use of the data and feel a sense of responsibility for making sure it is correct. The other key point is to process and disseminate the data as near to real time as possible. When data is trustworthy, accurate and timely, it is an invaluable tool."What improvements does the smart water industry need?"Discussions with our customers to develop the most effective use cases for the smart networks. There is a danger that we carry out this work simply because the opportunity is there, but these networks must drive both increased network knowledge and customer satisfaction."The full interview is available to read in the event download centre at http://www.smart-water-systems.com/prcom.Notable presenters at the conference include: Thames Water, Scottish Government, WaterSmart Software, United Utilities, Veolia, Northumbrian Water, Severn Trent, Southern Water, Energy Saving Trust, Irish Water, University of Exeter.Latest registered attendees for the event include: Anglian Water, Jersey Water, Thames Water, Bristol Water, South East Water, South Staffs Water, Scottish Water, Oxera, Kamstrup, Wheatley Associates Ltd, VCS Denmark, De Watergroep, RWE and Sensus UK Systems Ltd. For an example of who you could meet, please download the past attendee list from our website.For those looking to attend, there is a £100 early bird saving available online ending on 28th February 2017.SMi’s 6th annual conference:Smart Water Systems24th - 25th April 2017Copthorne Tara Hotel, London UKhttp://www.smart-water-systems.com/prcomContact Information:Media: contact Theresa Chung on +44 (0)20 7827 6068 or email tchung@smi-online.co.ukDelegate Registration: contact Andrew Gibbons on Tel: +44 (0)20 7827 6156 / Email: agibbons@smi-online.co.ukAbout SMi GroupEstablished since 1993, the SMi Group is a global event-production company that specializes in Business-to-Business Conferences, Workshops, Masterclasses and online Communities. We create and deliver events in the Defence, Security, Energy, Utilities, Finance and Pharmaceutical industries. We pride ourselves on having access to the world’s most forward thinking opinion leaders and visionaries, allowing us to bring our communities together to Learn, Engage, Share and Network. More information can be found at http://www.smi-online.co.uk Click here to view the list of recent Press Releases from SMi Group


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: EPSRC | Program: | Phase: Training Grant | Award Amount: 3.68M | Year: 2014

The UK water sector is experiencing a period of profound change with both public and private sector actors seeking evidence-based responses to a host of emerging global, regional and national challenges which are driven by demographic, climatic, and land use changes as well as regulatory pressures for more efficient delivery of services. Although the UK Water Industry is keen to embrace the challenge and well placed to innovate, it lacks the financial resources to support longer term skills and knowledge generation. A new cadre of engineers is required for the water industry to not only make our society more sustainable and profitable but to develop a new suite of goods and services for a rapidly urbanising world. EPSRC Centres for Doctoral Training provide an ideal mechanism with which to remediate the emerging shortfall in advanced engineering skills within the sector. In particular, the training of next-generation engineering leaders for the sector requires a subtle balance between industrial and academic contributions; calling for a funding mechanism which privileges industrial need but provides for significant academic inputs to training and research. The STREAM initiative draws together five of the UKs leading water research and training groups to secure the future supply of advanced engineering professionals in this area of vital importance to the UK. Led by the Centre for Water Science at Cranfield University, the consortium also draws on expertise from the Universities of Sheffield and Bradford, Imperial College London, Newcastle University, and the University of Exeter. STREAM offers Engineering Doctorate and PhD awards through a programme which incorporates; (i) acquisition of advanced technical skills through attendance at masters level training courses, (ii) tuition in the competencies and abilities expected of senior engineers, and (iii) doctoral level research projects. Our EngD students spend at least 75% of their time working in industry or on industry specified research problems. Example research topics to be addressed by the schemes students include; delivering drinking water quality and protecting public health; reducing carbon footprint; reducing water demand; improving service resilience and reliability; protecting natural water bodies; reducing sewer flooding, developing and implementing strategies for Integrated Water Management, and delivering new approaches to characterising, communicating and mitigating risk and uncertainty. Fifteen studentships per year for five years will be offered with each position being sponsored by an industrial partner from the water sector. A series of common attendance events will underpin programme and group identity. These include, (i) an initial three-month taught programme based at Cranfield University, (ii) an open invitation STREAM symposium and (iii) a Challenge Week to take place each summer including transferrable skills training and guest lectures from leading industrialists and scientists. Outreach activities will extend participation in the programme, pursue collaboration with associated initiatives, promote brand awareness of the EngD qualification, and engage with a wide range of stakeholder groups (including the public) to promote engagement with and understanding of STREAM activities. Strategic direction for the programme will be formulated through an Industry Advisory Board comprising representatives from professional bodies, employers, and regulators. This body will provide strategic guidance informed by sector needs, review the operational aspects of the taught and research components as a quality control, and conduct foresight studies of relevant research areas. A small International Steering Committee will ensure global relevance for the programme. The total cost of the STREAM programme is £9m, £2.8m of which is being invested by industry and £1.8m by the five collaborating universities. Just under £4.4m is being requested from EPSRC


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: NERC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 1.19M | Year: 2014

This innovative interdisciplinary project aims to develop an easy-to-use, evidence-based resource which can be used in decision-making in drought risk management. To achieve this, we will bring together information from drought science and scenario-modelling (using mathematical models to forecast the impacts of drought) with stakeholder engagement and narrative storytelling. While previous drought impact studies have often focused on using mathematical modelling, this project is very different. The project will integrate arts, humanities and social science research methods, with hydrological, meteorological, agricultural and ecological science knowledge through multi-partner collaboration. Seven case study catchments (areas linked by a common water resource) in England, Wales and Scotland will be selected to reflect the hydrological, socio-economic and cultural contrasts in the UK. Study of drought impacts will take place at different scales - from small plot experiments to local catchment scale. Citizen science and stakeholder engagement with plot experiments in urban and rural areas will be used as stimuli for conversations about drought risk and its mitigation. The project will: (i) investigate different stakeholder perceptions of when drought occurs and action is needed; (ii) examine how water level and temperature affect drought perception; (iii) explore the impact of policy decisions on drought management; (iv) consider water users behaviours which lead to adverse drought impacts on people and ecosystems and; (v) evaluate water-use conflicts, synergies and trade-offs, drawing on previous drought experiences and community knowledge. The project spans a range of sectors including water supply; health, business, agriculture/horticulture, built environment, extractive industries and ecosystem services, within 7 case-study catchments. Through a storytelling approach, scientists will exchange cutting edge science with different drought stakeholders, and these stakeholders will, in turn, exchange their knowledge. Stakeholders include those in: construction; gardeners and allotment holders; small and large businesses; local authorities; emergency planners; recreational water users; biodiversity managers; public health professionals - both physical and mental health; and local communities/public. The stakeholder meetings will capture various data including: - different stakeholder perceptions of drought and its causes - local knowledge around drought onset and strategies for mitigation (e.g. attitudes to water saving, responses to reduced water availability) - insights into how to live with drought and increase individual/community drought resilience - the impact of alternating floods and droughts The information will be shared within, and between, stakeholder groups in the case-studies and beyond using social media. This information will be analysed, and integrated with drought science to develop an innovative web-based decision-making utility. These data will feedback into the drought modelling and future scenario building with a view to exploring a variety of policy options. This will help ascertain present and future water resources availability, focusing on past, present and future drought periods across N-S and W-E climatic gradients. The project will be as far as possible be open science - maintaining open, real-time access to research questions, data, results, methodologies, narratives, publications and other outputs via the project website, updated as the project progresses. Project outputs will include: the decision-making support utility incorporating science-narrative resources; hydrological models for the 7 case-study catchments; a social media web-platform to share project resources; a database of species responses/management options to mitigate drought/post-drought recovery at different scales, and management guidelines on coping with drought/water scarcity at different scales.


Patent
Scottish Water, Mckenzie and Duffy | Date: 2015-11-25

A backflow prevention valve (30) prevents backflow during the supply of water from a mains supply to a separate water system, for example a water tank on a boat. The backflow prevention valve (30) is provided comprising a valve body (32) defining a chamber (34), an inlet (36) opening into the chamber (34) and arranged on an inlet axis (38), an outlet (40) opening from the chamber (34) and arranged on an outlet axis (42), and a funnel arranged in the chamber (34) around the outlet (40). The outlet axis (42) is substantially collinear with the inlet axis (38). The funnel tapers from a first larger perimeter at a first end (48) to a second smaller perimeter at the outlet (40). The chamber (34) has one or more backflow outlet ports (52) arranged outside the first perimeter of the funnel.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2011.6.3 | Award Amount: 4.65M | Year: 2012

Improving the efficiency of water management in Europe was recognised by the EC as essential for overcoming the growing exposure of European countries to Water Scarcity and Droughts. UrbanWater proposes a platform that will enable a better end-to-end water management in urban areas, accounting for 17% of freshwater consumption in the EU.\nThe project will undertake the development, demonstration, and economic up-scaling of an innovative ICT-based platform for the efficient integrated management of water resources. The system will benefit end-users, utilities, public authorities, the environment and the general public, in terms of: (i) providing consumers with comprehensive tools enabling them to use water more efficiently thereby reducing overall consumption; (ii) helping water utilities to meet demand at reduced costs; and (iii) fostering new partnerships between water authorities, utility, equipment and software companies so as to ensure the successful commercialisation of the system and the evolution of the European water sector as a global leader.\nThe system will incorporate advanced metering solutions, real-time communication of consumption data and new data management technologies with real-time predictive capability, demand forecasting, consumption pattern interpretation, decision support systems, adaptive pricing and user empowerment solutions.\nThe UrbanWater consortium includes ICT companies, research organisations, water utilities and authorities with complementary capacities and all the know-how required to oversee the successful completion of the project. Two water distributors included in the group will undertake large-scale validations with their urban users, thus promoting a final outcome that is close to the market and to the end-users.\nThe final outcome of the project will remain open and interoperable with energy and water management schemes, thus positively impacting not only water consumption, but overall usage of natural resources across Europe.

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