Integrated Catchment and Reservoir Systems Management

Lead Research Organisation: Cardiff University
Department Name: School of Earth and Ocean Sciences

Abstract

This proposal is for a Directed Internship for Dr Rupert Perkins, Earth and Ocean Sciences, Cardiff University, within Der Cymru Welsh Water (DCWW) based in Nelson, Glamorgan, South Wales. Perkins will spend 80% of his time over 12 months focussing on the study of catchment and reservoir management to determine current areas of knowledge and where this is lacking with respect to management of water supply quality. Existing DCWW water treatment works do not have the capability to deal with climate change induced increases in algal metabolite taste and odour compounds. If the causes of algal blooms and associated water supply issues cannot be identified, and suitable management steps in catchment and reservoir management developed, there will be a significant cost to increase treatment capacity, which is not a sustainable solution and has obvious environmental implications given the associated chemical and energy use. Reservoir treatment options are expensive and there is a danger that they are often inappropriate due to poor knowledge / root cause analysis of algal blooms and water quality impacts. This is an emerging issue for the water industry in the UK, and we need to do more to understand the issues proactively and not wait for climate change.

The project has four overarching aims: to review current knowledge in the form available in house data within DCWW and within literature; to determine areas where knowledge or data are limited or lacking; to determine how climate change induced predicted changes in rainfall and temperature may impact upon water supply quality; to develop a case study summarising these areas of water quality management with recommendations for future research collaboration between Water Authorities and academia. The project will use an integrated catchment and reservoir management approach using DCWW monitored site data sets within South Wales. The project will deliver an analysis of current state of knowledge of catchment and reservoir systems to determine current best evidence based management. This will utilise analysis of current available data within DCWW on catchment water quality and catchment management and how this links with available data for reservoir water quality and management. It will determine how well this is supported through existing research knowledge and systems monitoring, coupled with assessment of knowledge gaps within management to determine research needs. This will form the basis for an integrated approach to water supply systems management and how this is likely to change under predicted climate change scenarios (decrease in summer rainfall, increase in winter rainfall, increase in ambient temperature). This will be achieved through the Directed Internship of a current specialist in aquatic biology (the applicant, Perkins) within Dwr Cymru Welsh Water to analyse existing in-house monitoring and research data, review of wider lake and reservoir management research status within the UK and further afield and determination of the needs of evidence based management not currently met by these two areas of data/information sources.

The applicant is ideal for this role having over 15 y experience of freshwater research and a current collaboration with DCWW on reservoir management, catchments and nutrient management, microalgal and cyanobacteria ecology and photophysiology, lake recovery mechanisms and climate change impacts on freshwater foodwebs.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description The triggers for cyanobacterial production of MIB and geosmin have been identified for use in catchment management.
Management protocols for Water Supply Reservoirs.
Stakeholder involvement in land use management associated with catchment management of water supply reservoirs.

Further work has identified species of cyanobacteria within water supply reservoirs, specific to site and their capability to utilisegenes to produce tatse andodour metabolites. This is a fundamental step towards understanding mechanisms that trigger events and so act as an early warning for events and/or determine managemnt interventiona for prevention of events.
Exploitation Route Water Industry catchment management and water treatment processes.
Data asharing and analysis by the UK Water Industry.
Use in regulatory procedures by the Drinking Water Inspectorate.
Sectors Other

 
Description New sampling methods and lab analysis methods within the UK Water Industry. New reservoir monitoring procedures. Educational benefits to the Drinking Water Industry on reservoir nutrient dynamics and management. Evidence for intervention management through working with land users to prevent triggers causing tatse and odour incidents.
First Year Of Impact 2019
Sector Other
Impact Types Economic,Policy & public services

 
Description Taste and Odour catchment management solutions
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
Impact The work has lead to chnages in reservoir management within several UK Water Companies. The work has also been educational to managers and regulators, e.g. Water industry and DWI respectively in understanding the cuases and hence the management options related to taste and dour issues in drinking water supply.
 
Title Reservoir Sampling and Monitoring 
Description Through the findings of the work with Welsh Water we have written a new protocol for reservoir sampling and monitoring taken up by at least 5 UK Water Companies. This has now increased in 2019 to 12 Water Companies and data sharing for around 25 sites in the UK for analysis lead by the PI. 
Type Of Material Biological samples 
Year Produced 2017 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact Common datatset and methodology for determining a solution to taste and odour in drinking water supply. 
 
Title Reservoir Catchment dataset 
Description UK Water Companies have sent in historical data for meta data analysis by Perkins to determine causes of cyanobacteria blooms and taste and dour metabolite production. The dataset consists of water chemistry, microbiology and environmental data. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2017 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact UK wide determination of the causes of geosmin and MIB production in water supply reservoirs. 
 
Description Catchment Limnologist 
Organisation Welsh Water
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution This is a continuation of the original partnership with Welsh water except that it started after the NERC fellowship finished. My research is now supporting catchment management by Welsh water and also in the wider UK water industry context through the taste and Odour Working group and by dissemination through the DWI.
Collaborator Contribution The partner is funding the research which amounts to a considerable cost of funding field work and laboratory analysis.
Impact Briefing to the Drinking Water Inspectorate Continuation of running the UK Water Industry Taste and Odour Working Group Submission of a publication to the Journal of Environmental Management
Start Year 2019
 
Description Taste and odour with combined managanese management investigation 
Organisation Bristol Water plc
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Analysis of shared data to drive investigations into management of managanse treatment and concomitant taste and odour impacts on water quality. This is combined with in depth analysis of site water quality including molecular probing of cyanobacteria gene function in relation to site specific species production of taste and odour metabolites and the triggers stimulating these processes.
Collaborator Contribution Supply of data, collaborative data analysis, discussions on management options, access to reservoirs for sample collection, staff support for sampling.
Impact Project ongoing. One outcome to date is the establishment of a Reservoir Management Special Interest Group combining industry and academia.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Taste and odour with combined managanese management investigation 
Organisation Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Analysis of shared data to drive investigations into management of managanse treatment and concomitant taste and odour impacts on water quality. This is combined with in depth analysis of site water quality including molecular probing of cyanobacteria gene function in relation to site specific species production of taste and odour metabolites and the triggers stimulating these processes.
Collaborator Contribution Supply of data, collaborative data analysis, discussions on management options, access to reservoirs for sample collection, staff support for sampling.
Impact Project ongoing. One outcome to date is the establishment of a Reservoir Management Special Interest Group combining industry and academia.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Taste and odour with combined managanese management investigation 
Organisation Meteorological Office UK
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Analysis of shared data to drive investigations into management of managanse treatment and concomitant taste and odour impacts on water quality. This is combined with in depth analysis of site water quality including molecular probing of cyanobacteria gene function in relation to site specific species production of taste and odour metabolites and the triggers stimulating these processes.
Collaborator Contribution Supply of data, collaborative data analysis, discussions on management options, access to reservoirs for sample collection, staff support for sampling.
Impact Project ongoing. One outcome to date is the establishment of a Reservoir Management Special Interest Group combining industry and academia.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Taste and odour with combined managanese management investigation 
Organisation Scottish Water
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Analysis of shared data to drive investigations into management of managanse treatment and concomitant taste and odour impacts on water quality. This is combined with in depth analysis of site water quality including molecular probing of cyanobacteria gene function in relation to site specific species production of taste and odour metabolites and the triggers stimulating these processes.
Collaborator Contribution Supply of data, collaborative data analysis, discussions on management options, access to reservoirs for sample collection, staff support for sampling.
Impact Project ongoing. One outcome to date is the establishment of a Reservoir Management Special Interest Group combining industry and academia.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Taste and odour with combined managanese management investigation 
Organisation University of Bath
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Analysis of shared data to drive investigations into management of managanse treatment and concomitant taste and odour impacts on water quality. This is combined with in depth analysis of site water quality including molecular probing of cyanobacteria gene function in relation to site specific species production of taste and odour metabolites and the triggers stimulating these processes.
Collaborator Contribution Supply of data, collaborative data analysis, discussions on management options, access to reservoirs for sample collection, staff support for sampling.
Impact Project ongoing. One outcome to date is the establishment of a Reservoir Management Special Interest Group combining industry and academia.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Taste and odour with combined managanese management investigation 
Organisation Welsh Water
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Analysis of shared data to drive investigations into management of managanse treatment and concomitant taste and odour impacts on water quality. This is combined with in depth analysis of site water quality including molecular probing of cyanobacteria gene function in relation to site specific species production of taste and odour metabolites and the triggers stimulating these processes.
Collaborator Contribution Supply of data, collaborative data analysis, discussions on management options, access to reservoirs for sample collection, staff support for sampling.
Impact Project ongoing. One outcome to date is the establishment of a Reservoir Management Special Interest Group combining industry and academia.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Taste and odour with combined managanese management investigation 
Organisation Wessex Water
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Analysis of shared data to drive investigations into management of managanse treatment and concomitant taste and odour impacts on water quality. This is combined with in depth analysis of site water quality including molecular probing of cyanobacteria gene function in relation to site specific species production of taste and odour metabolites and the triggers stimulating these processes.
Collaborator Contribution Supply of data, collaborative data analysis, discussions on management options, access to reservoirs for sample collection, staff support for sampling.
Impact Project ongoing. One outcome to date is the establishment of a Reservoir Management Special Interest Group combining industry and academia.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Taste and odour with combined managanese management investigation 
Organisation Yorkshire Water
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Analysis of shared data to drive investigations into management of managanse treatment and concomitant taste and odour impacts on water quality. This is combined with in depth analysis of site water quality including molecular probing of cyanobacteria gene function in relation to site specific species production of taste and odour metabolites and the triggers stimulating these processes.
Collaborator Contribution Supply of data, collaborative data analysis, discussions on management options, access to reservoirs for sample collection, staff support for sampling.
Impact Project ongoing. One outcome to date is the establishment of a Reservoir Management Special Interest Group combining industry and academia.
Start Year 2019
 
Description UK Water Industry Taste and Odour Working Group 
Organisation Welsh Water
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Perkins (PI) co-established a UK wide Water industry working group to share historical data and develop a common reservoir sampling protocol to generate data for common interest in determining the causes of taste and odour problems in drinking water and to determine solutions to prevent taste and odour events in drinking water supply reservoirs. My research on cyanobacteria blooms has been the driver of the three meetings of this group. I coordinated the data sharing and wrote the protocols for the reservoir monitoring and sampling. Since the end of the NERC fellowship, I have gained 50% funding for my time to be employed at Welsh water to continue running the Working Group, with meetings held twice in 2017 and the next planned meeting in early May 2018
Collaborator Contribution Welsh Water facilitated the establishment of the working group and arranged the three meetings attended by 12 UK wide Water Companies and the Drinking Water Inspectorate. Staff assisted in developing the data analysis sharing system and reservoir sampling protocol. Welsh water are continuing to co-lead and facilitate this Working Group in 2018.
Impact Publications in Water Industry journals (e.g. Institute of Water journal and CIWEM magazine). Meetings of the Working Group in 2016 and twice in 2017 and a teleconference in March 2018. establishment of a common reservoir monitoring protocol. Sharing of historical data to determine UK wide cyanobacteria bloom management opportunities. The work was presented at the WWT water industry Conference in October 2018. The work has also been used recently to brief the Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI) in London, with around 40 DWI Inspectors and hosted by the DWI Principal inspector, Dr Samantha Vince.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Briefing of Drinking Water Inspectorate 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact The findings of the work to date have determined essential information regarding reservoir and catchment management necessary within the UK Water Industry. This was the theme in a presentation to the DWI, London on the 5th March 2019 at which DWI inspectors from around the UK were briefed on findings to be used in collaborative work with UK Water Companies.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description UK water Industry Taste and Odour Working group 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Twice a year meetings of 12 Water Company representatives and the Drinking Water Inspectorate to determine best practice for finding s common solution to the issues of geosmin and MIB in drinking water supply, which cause an earthy and musty taste and odour costing the UK Water Industry over 200M GBP per year.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016,2017,2018,2019