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What is Upstream Thinking?

cupping hands of water

Where does your tap water come from? After the rain falls from the skies, what happens to it?

Here in the South West, many of our reservoirs are up on the moors, and we transport raw water, often using the natural river network.

We then treat raw water with chemicals to remove bacteria, pesticides and colour . But what if the raw water was relatively free from these things in the first place?

Upstream Thinking is a vision to reduce unwanted components of raw water such as pollutants and dissolved organic carbon. The projects outlined here each make up an element of our long-term aim, which is to reduce the chemicals, cost and energy needed to produce the top quality tap water on which we all depend.

Latest news
Research into the effects of peatland restoration on Exmoor and Dartmoor has won a prestigious national award.

Water Industry Achievement Award 2015
Upstream Thinking beat five other finalists to win the Data Project of the Year category at the Water Industry Achievement Awards 2015.

The award was made to South West Water, the University of Exeter and the Environment Agency for the big data analysis undertaken for the project, where state-of-the-art sensor and telemetry technology monitors how much the restoration of Exmoor and Dartmoor has improved water storage and quality.

Water project scoops prestigious national award

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Did you know?
Worldwide peatlands are huge carbon stores, but damaged areas release carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere through oxidation processes.

carbon capture and storage
Restoration halts oxidation and promotes active peat growth thus increasing the absorption of CO2 from the atmosphere.

The restoration of peatlands could play a major role in mitigating against atmospheric CO2 rises.

Exe Valley aerial view
The ongoing mapping of peatland ditches and cuttings from old air-photographs has identified a possible 150 further sites with damaged or drying peatland, covering over 2,000 hectares.

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