NERC announces new strategic partnership with Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water

15 January 2016

NERC has joined forces with Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water (DCWW) to help tackle future environmental challenges in managing water supply and provide vital data to decision makers.

Researcher monitoring depth of moorland stream.

NERC researching dissolved organic carbon in fresh water in Wales. Copyright Rachel Gough.

Officially announced today, NERC has launched a new three-year strategic partnership with DCWW, a not-for-profit water utility company supplying more than three million people in Wales and adjoining parts of England.

The collaboration will allow NERC and DCWW to work together in sharing knowledge, data and expertise drawn from across the £330 million portfolio of NERC-funded research into real world applications, tools and solutions across the water sector.

The partnership will concentrate on three main areas of mutual interest: managing water catchment areas, managing nutrient levels in river, coastal and marine environments, and environmental data for decision makers.

Duncan Wingham, NERC's chief executive, said:

A central part of NERC's remit is to work with businesses, policymakers and third-sector organisations to help them make use of the wealth of data, knowledge, tools and expertise generate by its research activities. This strategic partnership with DCWW provides the opportunity for NERC to increase the impact of its research by working collaboratively to meet future environmental challenges in the management of water resources.

Announcing the partnership at DCWW's second annual innovation event on Thursday, director of environment at DCWW, Tony Harrington, said:

We are delighted to announce that we'll be working in partnership with NERC to assist them to make both our research and the research they sponsor more impactful.

The partners are in the process of agreeing the terms of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to detail how DCWW and NERC will work together over the next few years.

This will be the third strategic partnership of its kind for NERC, the UK's largest funder of environmental science, alongside successful collaborations with global engineering and design company Arup and energy company Shell.

The new relationship builds on NERC's already-strong connections with DCWW.

The Bangor branch of NERC's Centre for Ecology & Hydrology is a member of DCWW's Independent Environmental Advisory Panel. DCWW is also an industry member of the Sustainable Agriculture Research & Innovation Club (SARIC), and a partner of NERC's Doctoral Training Partnership 'Envision', which provides placement and training opportunities for postdoctoral students to develop the next generation of leaders in environmental science. DCWW is closely involved in NERC's Biodiversity & Ecosystem Service Sustainability (BESS) research programme, particularly the Diversity in Upland Rivers for Ecosystem Service Sustainability (DURESS) project.

Further information

Mary Goodchild
NERC media office
01793 411939
07710 147485


1. NERC is the UK's main agency for funding and managing research, training and knowledge exchange in the environmental sciences. Our work covers the full range of atmospheric, Earth, biological, terrestrial and aquatic science, from the deep oceans to the upper atmosphere and from the poles to the equator. We coordinate some of the world's most exciting research projects, tackling major issues such as climate change, environmental influences on human health, the genetic make-up of life on Earth, and much more. NERC is a non-departmental public body. We receive around £330 million of annual funding from the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS).

2. DCWW is unique in the water industry as it is owned on behalf of customers. It does not have shareholders, and any financial surpluses are reinvested in the business for the benefit of customers. DCWW is investing heavily and working hard to ensure top quality services to all the communities it serves. The company invested £1·5 billion in its water and sewerage network between 2010 and 2015, and is set to invest a further £1·7 billion between 2015 and 2020.