Earlier this year, the water sector announced that it was pledging, as a sector, to reach Net Zero by 2030, the first major sector to do so.

As I set out in an article in August (see my blog) this is a massive challenge but one which the water sector is well placed to grasp.

Today at a Water UK event the Routemap as to how this will be achieved is being launched.  The Routemap sets out a 10 point plan including recommendations for government and regulators to protect customers and keep investment costs down while supporting the development of skills and nature based solutions as part of the economic recovery from COVID-19.

The Routemap states that, by 2030 there needs to be:

1) Low emissions vehicles - 100% of fleet passenger vehicles electrified and 80% of commercial vehicles converted to alternative fuels;
2) Water and energy saving - new strategies to tackle leakage and help customers save water, alongside smarter and more efficient networks and catchments;
3) Process emissions - a reduction of up to 60% from a 2018/19 baseline;
4) Renewable power - up to 3 GW of new solar and wind power coupled with energy efficiency measures and suitable storage to provide up to 80% of sector demand;
5) Green gas - biomethane from sewage waste injected into the grid to heat up to 150,000 homes, use in hard to decarbonise sectors, or to generate low carbon power.

In addition to the above, the plans include restoring native habitats (20,000 ha of owned peatland and grassland and planting 11 million new trees), targeting innovation to reduce process emissions and, ultimately, offsetting residual emissions.

This is an exciting and ambitious plan. Clearly, it is going to take cooperation between sectors to achieve, input from the supply chain and appropriate policy and regulation to achieve.