The Sustainable Catchment Management Programme (SCaMP), has been developed by United Utilities in association with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB). The programme aims to apply an integrated approach to catchment management across all of the 56,385 hectares of land United Utilities own in the North West, which they hold to protect the quality of water entering the reservoirs.
Through the delivery of SCaMP United Utilities is recognised within the UK water industry as being at the forefront of water company-funded catchment management scheme that are aiming to secure multiple benefits at a landscape scale.
Over the last 30 years there has been a substantial increase in the levels of colour in the water sources prior to treatment from many upland catchments. The removal of colour requires additional process plant, chemicals, power and waste handling to meet increasingly demanding drinking water quality standards. To address this, expensive capital solutions are often required at a water works which result in significant increases in annual operational costs.
The aims of the SCaMP initiative are to help; (1) protect and improve water quality, (2) reduce the rate of increase in raw water colour which will reduce future revenue costs, (3) reduce or delay the need for future capital investment for additional water treatment, (4) deliver government targets for SSSIs, (5) ensure a sustainable future for the company's agricultural tenants, (6) enhance and protect the natural environment, and (7) help these moorland habitats to become more resilient to long term climate change.
In addition to their work on SCaMP, United Utilities have also commissioned an number of catchment investigations in recent years and they continue to develop plans for a programme of catchment management in their currently business plan.