UKWIR calls for help in creating GHG accounting tool for water industry

Article by Amanda Jasi

UK Water Industry Research (UKWIR) is calling for expressions of interest to deliver a new version of a greenhouse gas (GHG) estimation and reporting tool for use by the water industry, a sector which generates 5m t/y, or 1% of the nation’s annual emissions.

The new tool will be used for water companies’ annual accounting, to report against water sector regulator Ofwat’s operational GHG common emissions performance commitment for the 2025–2030 period. Ofwat expects companies to reduce their GHG emissions with a view of achieving the UK and Welsh governments’ interim and final net zero emission targets by 2050.

More than an annual update

In 2007, the Carbon Accounting Workbook (CAW) was launched. It is a standardised tool for estimating operational GHG emissions and was developed by research platform UKWIR, along with experts working in the water industry. It is updated annually to reflect industry needs and changes in carbon accounting practices.

Mandy Fenton, senior programme manager at UKWIR, said that the project represents a key update to the CAW, and “will go beyond the usual annual update of the existing CAW”.

“We are looking for innovative ideas as to how to deliver the objectives whilst providing an intuitive and user-friendly tool on an appropriate platform.

“It will include the usual update of the emission factors to reflect 2023 UK government conversion factor values, and direct liaison with the project steering group to agree additional or amended functionality to meet the water sector needs. In addition, the contractor will be expected to facilitate water company user testing of the tool to ensure it is fit for purpose and meets sector's requirements.”

The project is expected to be consistent with methodologies and emissions factors in the latest version of CAW, and either populated directly from the tool or in a similar format to the data inputs of the latest CAW. The project is expected to run for around 16 months.

Those interested in joining the project, including collaborations between utilities, consultancies, contractors, and technology companies, can find more information and apply at the UKWIR website. The deadline for expressing interest is 23 March 2023.

Article by Amanda Jasi

Staff reporter, The Chemical Engineer

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