Page 5: Environmental issues
As we can expect, much of what Yorkshire Water does, either affects or is affected by the environment. As it develops a relationship with its customers, Yorkshire Water also has to take into account the interaction of its activities with the environment. In fact, a stated objective of Yorkshire Water is to improve the environment. It has an Environmental Charter to support this objective.
“Our main purpose is to produce and deliver clean water both to people in the street and to industry and to remove and treat waste water effectively. We also engage in businesses which provide environmental and waste management services. We undertake to operate these businesses in a way which will reduce the impact of man on the environment.”
Yorkshire Water’s activities affect the environment in many different ways and in different places. Key environmental performance indicators have been developed to track these affects. The impact may be good or bad, but in almost all circumstances Yorkshire Water can and does much to enhance those environments which are attractive and of value to the community. For example, some of the many projects include minimising power consumption wherever possible, not only to reduce costs but also to reduce indirectly the impact of global warming. In fact, Yorkshire Water uses environmentally friendly methods to generate some of its own electricity through wind or water power, or producing methane. Waste heat is used for space heating of offices and other buildings. Yorkshire Water also uses ‘state of the art’ incinerators to minimise atmospheric discharges.
Conservation and recreation
Conservation and Recreation remains an integral part of Yorkshire Water’s activities. The Department of Environment Code of Practice on Conservation, Access and Recreation remains the basis for activities in this area. As one of the region’s largest landowners, often in areas of great natural beauty, Yorkshire Water is dedicated to opening up and improving as much of its land holdings as possible, for the enjoyment of its 4.5 million customers and the many others who visit the region every year. For example:
- Yorkshire Water continually strives to ensure that conservation of our heritage remains a priority in the planning and implementation of Yorkshire Water operational schemes
- Land owned by Yorkshire Water is important to the conservation of natural habitats and wildlife in the whole region
- Reservoirs offer a number of both informal and formal leisure activities which include picnicking, walking, angling, sailing and bird watching.
Since water privatisation, access to land holdings has increased with recreation activities providing facilities for all, including special provision for the disabled. Whilst water is essential to sustain our lives, it is necessary to see that increased access to the reservoirs and surrounding areas is balanced with taking care not to disturb the wildlife and habitats that make up this wonderful scenery.