Southern Water hosts summit for healthy harbours by 2030
Southern Water has hosted a summit looking at reversing damage to Chichester, Langstone and Pagham Harbours with leaders from national and local organisations coming together.
A newly formed steering group will ensure the commitment to collaborate turns into action, the group has said.
An assessment of the current ecological status of the harbours and factors contributing to their environmental decline will be available later this year.
“We have heard how much is already happening. Now we need to work in co-operation, break out of our siloes and map out the priority projects so that the funding and action comes together to secure the best environmental outcomes for the harbours and the local residents of today and into the future.”
"We know collective action is needed to improve the harbours’ water quality and natural habitats and it’s encouraging to see so many partners coming together with that purpose.
“The natural capital baseline we are funding for this group is progressing well and will be ready later this year. It will be leading edge and the primary source of accurate evidence of flows and polluting loads from all sources which are entering watercourses.
"By measuring those we will be able to take effective action to reduce these and manage catchments for the purpose of improving water quality. .
“We are building new storm tanks at Budd’s Farm water treatment works and investing £36 million at Peel Common to increase our storm storage capacity and ensure the network can cope with population growth in the area”
"We will significantly increase our contribution to catchment management and nature based solutions. Restoring degraded land; increasing wetlands; encouraging regeneration of sea grass and kelp offer sustainable solutions that improve water quality and the natural environment.
Sue Beale, Kent and Sussex manager for Natural England, said: “The summit provided an opportunity to work with partners to conserve, enhance and manage the natural environment for the benefit of present and future generations. Partnerships are key for nature’s recovery.
“Through collaboration we can focus resources and expertise towards ensuring the protection and preservation of the natural habitats found in the Chichester, Langstone and Pagham harbours.”
Colette Heggie, Solent and South Downs environment, planning and engagement manager for the Environment Agency, said: “With our shared ambition to protect the environment and communities, the summit was a chance for us to continue working with the water industry and other bodies.
“The Environment Agency always encourages investment from the water industry and other stakeholders to protect the environment.”