Bristol Water mid-year social contract

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Education & Skills: Citizens
for the future Programme
Academic
Partnerships
Programme
Regional Strategy
Programme
Lakeside
Programme
Community
Engagement
Programme
Conservation
Programme
Resource West Programme
Vulnerability
Programme
Education & Skills: Employees
for the future Programme

Academic Partnerships Programme

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Aim of programme

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Linking academic research to business challenges and experience to tackle key issues such as resource efficiency. Providing opportunities for learning through MSc projects and other partnerships.

Initiative highlights

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  • Accelerating the regeneration of our visitor centre at Blagdon
  • Sponsoring two PHD students to study nutrient management in the Mendip Catchments and the impact on water quality
  • Lead in global Sustainable Urban Nexus research together with the University of the West of England, contributing to future sustainability of food, energy and water in our region

Progress of initiative

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Our 'Hydrosocial' initiative contributes to knowledge sharing and partnership development with UWE. We have for example established a history and heritage group and delivered together a number of talks to local groups who are interested in Bristol's history. We will be working with our partners to link into the regeneration of our visitor centre at Blagdon.

Additional information

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Customers can find out more about the latest progress on our entire Academic Partnerships programme here.

Aim of programme

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Building a shared connection between our people, the organisations we work with and future citizens. Harnessing the concerns of the next generation to change the culture of the current.

Initiative highlights

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  • Spawn to be Wild has won several awards, including the UK Green Apple Award 2015
  • 11 primary school classrooms along the Bristol Avon have looked after approximately 50 elvers each, caught by elver fisherman on the River Severn

Progress of initiative

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Baby European eels, known as Larva, travel on oceanic currents from the Sargasso Sea to Europe, including right here in the West Country. Here, the baby eels transform into elvers. Our Spawn to be Wild schools programme protects them from environmental threats by taking them for a pit-stop in local schools for several weeks. This gives children a chance to connect with the story of the endangered eel in a unique way, while helping the elvers to grow in a safe environment, a true win-win.

Spawn to be Wild has won several awards, and we are very proud of it. It is leading the industry and putting children in touch with the story of the endangered eel.

Additional information

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Customers can find out more about the latest progress on our entire Education & Skills programme at; bristolwater.co.uk/about-us/social-contract/education-and-skills

Community Engagement Programme

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Aim of programme

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Working collaboratively with community groups to address issues that impact the well-being of the community.

Initiative highlights

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  • 8 drinking water fountains installed across Bristol city centre in 2019
  • Saved seven miles of plastic bottles from local festivals and events since the Water Bar was introduced in 2014
  • In 2019 we prevented over 10,000 plastic bottles from landfill
  • The Water Bar has won several awards:
    • Big Bang Award for Innovation (Utility Week Stars Awards, 2018)
    • Community Project of the Year (Water Industry Achievement Awards, 2018)
    • Outstanding Innovation Award (Water Industry Achievement Awards, 2018)

Progress of initiative

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We have installed eight drinking water fountains this year, taking the total number installed to 10 water fountains across the city of Bristol (in partnership with Bristol City Council). We are looking at ways we can install more fountains outside of the city.

The Water Bar continues to be in popular demand. The Water Bar was developed following the successful Refill campaign by City to Sea; we offer free water refills to the public at a selection of outdoor events throughout the year. Bristol Water provides the Water Bar as a free of charge attraction at outdoor events to both event organisers and attendees. It helps events promote using refillable bottles and cutting down on single use plastic. It has encouraged and allowed events to go 'plastic free' as a result of having the bar there.

Additional information

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Customers can find out more about the latest progress on our entire Community Engagement programme at; bristolwater.co.uk/about-us/social-contract/community-engagement.

Conservation Programme

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Aim of programme

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Protecting and enhancing natural resources through the proactive management of our sites and through measuring and improving biodiversity.

Initiative highlights

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  • An increase in biodiversity at our sites through our continued conservation work and through staff volunteering
  • Helped to protect the White Clawed Crayfish from non-native invasive species
  • Re-wetting of a lost tributary of the River Chew

Progress of initiative

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We monitor our protection and enhancement of the natural environment through an innovative approach that we have called the biodiversity index. This quantifies the environmental value of our sites and quantifies the impact of our actions on the natural environment. We have committed to share this approach with our stakeholders to amplify the benefits beyond the sites which we own or manage and we are working with Wild Ones stakeholders to deliver conservation work on various sites. By improving our natural assets we will be able to build natural resilience to climate change and improvement local environments for local residents to enjoy.

We have improved the conditions and habits for bat species population and Ospreys. We have worked in partnership with local volunteer bird wardens to develop signage at our Herons Green & Herriots Pool Nature Reserves, which can be viewed from a public highway.

We have supported the surveys of tributaries of Chew Valley Lake for ark site locations and monitoring the spread of invasive crayfish species. By doing so we have helped to protect the White Clawed Crayfish species at these ark sites.

We will be working with delivery partners Avon Wildlife Trust and volunteer Bird Wardens to look at how different habitat improvements will benefit different flora and fauna species. We hope to provide improved habitat for water voles which will in turn bring other birds of prey onto our sites.

We have also improved management of natural assets which provide carbon sequestration, natural flood management, improved soils drainage and recreational resources.

In the spring of 2019, we worked with Bristol Avon Rivers Trust, the Wild Trout Trust and other partners to restore a lost river, which had been dry for the past 70 years and provide new habitat for several species of rare and threatened wildlife. It was a great success story which made national news.

Additional information

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Customers can find out more about the latest progress on our entire Conservation programme at; bristolwater.co.uk/about-us/social-contract/conservation.

Education & Skills: Employees for the future Programme

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Lakeside Programme

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Aim of programme

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Promoting and facilitating the enjoyment of our sites through recreational activities such as fishing, sailing, walking, cycling and birdwatching.

Initiative highlights

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  • Up to 400,000 visitors to our sites every year
  • Over 2,000 visitors enjoying sailing and watersports on Chew Valley Lake and Cheddar Reservoir
  • Over 12,000 angling visits across 7 waters
  • Provided access to 368 bird watchers at Chew, Blagdon and Barrow Tanks
  • Six interest group visits at our Grade 2* listed pumping station at Blagdon Pumping Station
  • Four evening history talks regarding Chew Valley Lake provided to local interest groups
  • Four new community benches

Progress of initiative

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There has been a recent regeneration of popular beauty spots at Herriots Pool and Herons Green Bay, Chew Valley Lake, including new estate fencing to match the landscape and visitor information boards regarding history, leisure and wildlife. We have also installed four new benches, donated by our community in memory of loved ones.

We have begun offering even more recreational activities for residents to enjoy at Cheddar Reservoir, including stand up paddleboarding, kayaking and canoeing.

We have been working with a local volunteer based charity 'The Conservation Volunteers' to provide outdoor volunteering activities on a number of access improvements, such as boardwalk structures (Bittern Trail), bird hide shutters (Moreton) and stiles and steps (Villice Bay/Nunnery Point).

We are proud of the wide-range of facilities and activities that we offer local residents. We are building close relationships with local organisations and providing services that support a safer environment all.

Additional information

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Customers can find out more about the latest progress on our entire Lakeside programme here.

Regional Strategy Programme

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Aim of programme

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Supporting the development of regional strategies through working with local government, for example the West of England Combined Authority, or progress towards a carbon-neutral Bristol.

Initiative highlights

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Active member of the One City Plan, linking our social contract to the wellbeing needs of the City.

Progress of initiative

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We have sponsored and worked closely with Bristol Green Capital Partnership to develop our contribution to the One City Plan and to support funding bids which contribute to the city's goals.

We have also mapped our activities to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and contributed to the city's Voluntary Local Review of progress against the goals, being the first UK city to complete the review.

We will continue our close working with Bristol Green Capital Partnership to link into other city initiatives, other partners and the One City Plan more generally.

Additional information

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Customers can find out more about the latest progress on our entire Regional Strategy programme here.

Resource West Programme

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Aim of programme

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Working with local partners to deliver a joined up approach to resource efficiency across different sectors, combining resources and amplifying messages to customers.

Initiative highlights

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Successfully launched the Resource West, a new partnership, comprising of organisations such as Bristol Water, Bristol Waste, Bristol Energy, the University of the West of England and the West of England Combined Authority.

Progress of initiative

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We are taking a community leadership role for broader issues of resource efficiency and have instigated a new initiative in the form of our Resource West group.

Resource West is our Partnership with other utilities, universities and local governments to jointly promote water, waste and energy efficiency as a combined package of action that consumers can take. We are currently developing future campaigns with other utilities and local businesses.

We are also working to reduce our own carbon impact with a greater use of renewable energy, using the expertise of our Resource West partners.

Additional information

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Customers can find out more about the latest progress on our entire Resource West programme here.

Vulnerability Programme

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Aim of programme

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Working with local stakeholders to help provide extra support to those customers who need it, through extra care services or social tariffs and debt advice.

Initiative highlights

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  • 1% of households we supply now on our Priority Services Register
  • Zero customers in water poverty

Progress of initiative

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We have been increasing the number of households on our Priority Services Register due to our local data share with Western Power Distribution (WPD), our new online application form and our targeting of messaging about priority services in customers' bills and in our annual WaterTalk magazine.

We are also currently working with Baringa to research and explore how to get resource efficiency and vulnerable support services to the 20-35 age generation, and how we engage with landlords in order to support this process.

Additional information

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Customers can find out more about the latest progress on our entire Vulnerability programme here.

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