NI Water has today (21 September) launched its Annual Integrated Report for 2021/22. In it, Ronan Larkin, Director of Finance and Regulation, outlines the need for sustained investment and highlights that NI Water has an important role to play in boosting biodiversity.
“NI Water can only continue to play this vital role if we are able to invest today to meet not only the increased demand for our services, but also the combined challenge of the climate emergency and the biodiversity crisis. In the last year NI Water has led the way in developing approaches to tackle these pressures. Now we need to work with our stakeholders to make this a reality through innovation, collaboration and the right sense of urgency.
“We share the Government’s vision that we will have the infrastructure that enables everyone to lead a healthy, productive and fulfilling life; supports sustainable economic development; and protects our environment. But this ambition can only be realised if we can secure longer term funding certainty that comes with multi-year funding in line with that determined by the independent Utility Regulator, supported by a mechanism to deal with financial shocks. We welcome the fact that the Department has been able to fully fund our capital programme for the last two years.
“Climate change is of particular importance to the water sector given its impact on the quality and quantity of water sources, the carbon intensity of its supply chain, and the exposure of its assets to extreme weather events. At NI Water, we’re committed to delivering a net zero, climate resilient future for all our customers. We are determined to harness the huge and largely unseen potential for NI Water to address climate change.
“The Power of Water Report launched in 2021/22 shows how our assets can play a strategically important role in helping society to generate and store renewable energy and deploying battery storage at scale. As one of Northern Irelands largest land owners we can also help remove and store carbon and support strong biodiverse ecosystems, which are the basis for a resilient water supply chain.
“NI Water is a nature based business at its heart. Our assets are entwined with the natural water cycle and our land holdings hold a rich array of plants and animals. We are partnering with our stakeholders to help restore our natural environment by rewetting our degraded peatbogs, planting 1 million trees and using nature based infrastructure solutions. Not only can this help boost biodiversity, but it can also deliver a range of other benefits such as improved raw water quality, flood alleviation, carbon removal and storage and cost efficiencies.”
NI Water’s Annual Integrated Report for 2021/22 is available at https://www.niwater.com/annual-report/
The Power of Water Report is available at www.niwater.com/climatechange/