CASE STUDY ANGLIAN WATER
Farmer feedback for new catchment management scheme
Working with Anglian Water to explore the potential of using catchment nutrient balancing (CNB) schemes to manage and reduce nutrient levels in water catchments
nglian Water is a water company based in the East of England, responsible for water supply and recycling for more than 6 million people. Anglian Water was interested in exploring the potential to use a catchment nutrient balancing (CNB) scheme in defined catchments as an alternative means of managing and reducing nutrients (phosphorus and/or nitrogen) in water catchments. 3Keel was commissioned to help Anglian Water in developing a successful approach through engaging with farmers to obtain feedback on potential elements of the proposed scheme elements.
The project involved designing and delivering a multi-method engagement approach combining an online survey and one-to-one interviews. The survey reached nearly 100 farmers; a representative sample was then followed up with a representative sample by phone for deeper insights.
The consultation found that farmers were unanimously interested in learning more about and potentially participating in a new CNB scheme in the catchment. The findings reveal several critical elements whose inclusion could inform the success of a new scheme. Key among these was a desire for any new scheme to be flexible in intervention choice and implementation, light on administrative requirements, and offer a price that was perceived as fair value. An interesting finding, given the current prevalence of ‘reverse auctions’ for catchment management, was that a “flat price plus” model was overwhelmingly preferred as a price mechanism option.
The findings will be used by Anglian Water to help design their new CNB scheme in a way that takes into consideration farmer motivations and interests, such that uptake is strong and delivery successful once the scheme has been rolled out.
“Engaging farmers to deliver catchment solutions is an increasing favoured strategy in the water sector. Through a carefully constructed online survey and direct engagement with farmers, 3Keel gathered and summarised valuable data to inform how we will set up and run a successful Catchment Nutrient Balancing initiative. 3Keel’s expertise and personal touch makes them a perfect partner to work with, especially when dealing with such an important group of stakeholders.”
Chris Gerrard, Catchment and Biodiversity Manager, Anglian Water