Ricardo-AEA lands two flagship UK water projects

Posted: Thursday 8th May 2014

Promoting water efficiency in the non-domestic sector on behalf of UK government; Exploring attitudes and barriers to the use of biodegradable products containing sewage sludge for UK Water Industry Research (UKWIR).

Ricardo-AEA has won two new flagship contracts which demonstrate its capability to meet the growing demand from public and private sector organizations for a wide range of water consultancy services embracing issues such as water resources management, water quality, urban drainage, flood risk and water policy. While building on the company’s track record in water efficiency and products, the projects also demonstrate a breadth of technical knowledge, water industry insight, commercial expertise and stakeholder engagement skills.

The first project is a three-year contract to manage the UK ‘Water Technology List’ on behalf of the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and HM Revenue and Customs. The Water Technology List details all the water efficient products meeting the criteria of the Enhanced Capital Allowance scheme for water. This scheme enables businesses that pay income or corporation tax in the UK to claim 100 percent first year capital allowances on investments in technologies and products that encourage sustainable water use.

The Ricardo-AEA water team has been responsible for the development and management of the Water Technology List for more than 10 years. The List now includes more than 2,600 products from almost 200 manufacturers and suppliers across fourteen technology categories. Work on the project includes managing applications for accreditation to the Water Technology List, considering additional technology categories, promoting the enhanced capital allowance scheme and maintaining the public database of accredited water efficient technologies.

“We’re delighted to have won this important and high profile project,” said Ricardo-AEA Business Area Manager Dr Stuart Ballinger. “Having worked on the Water Technology List initiative for more than 10 years, it’s very exciting to lead the development of the scheme over the next three years as the impact of climate change and extreme weather events can only raise the issue of water efficiency further up the corporate agenda.”

The second water contract won by Ricardo-AEA is a two-year project for industry research body UKWIR to explore attitudes and any perceived barriers to the use of biodegradable products containing sewage sludge. This is one of a number of biodegradable organic wastes derived from plant or animal origin, containing potentially valuable recyclable nutrients that are widely used as fertilizers and media for assisting plant growth. The water industry wishes to explore and understand the views of regulators, stakeholders and the public to the wider use of products incorporating such wastes.

This project has therefore been commissioned to understand the key market barriers to products containing sewage sludge as well as how they can be addressed. Stakeholder and consumer opinions on this subject and how to communicate issues on the topic will also be examined. The work will include a comprehensive market analysis and literature review, qualitative stakeholder research, a stakeholder workshop and qualitative consumer research. The Ricardo-AEA team will be supported by CRD Research which will manage the consumer research.

“The water market is a key area of focus for Ricardo-AEA,” Dr Ballinger added. “Both of the contract wins announced today are a testament to the skills of our specialist water team as we offer a combination of technical knowledge, water industry insight, commercial expertise, and stakeholder engagement capabilities to help government and private sector organizations address the challenges of sustainable water management.”

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