Northumbrian Water’s ‘Restore and Regenerate’ Strategy: Paving the Way for Sustainable Environmental Management

On October 11, 2023, the TU Earth & Environment Research Group had the privilege of hosting Dr. Zoë Frogbrook, Head of Environment and Sustainability at Northumbrian Water. She unveiled ‘Restore and Regenerate,’ Northumbrian Water’s ambitious environmental management strategy spanning all the way to 2050.

Through this strategy, Northumbrian Water, in partnership with the Coal Authority, the Rivers Trust, and other NE environmental management organisations, are developing ground-breaking nature-based solutions that complement and potentially outperform traditional (end-of-pipe and hard engineering) wastewater management approaches.

During her talk, Dr. Frogbrook stressed the importance of environmental monitoring data to evaluate the effectiveness of nature-based solutions under development, such as those addressing nutrient (nitrogen and phosphorous) pollution in rivers and flood risk. She also emphasised the need to assess biodiversity at Northumbrian Water sites to establish a baseline for future improvement.

The TU Earth & Environment Research Group explored with Dr. Frogbrook the potential for  PhD funding opportunities through Northumbrian Water. There are also a wealth of potential research projects for our Teesside University students offering real-world employable skills to our future graduates. A partnership between Northumbrian Water and TU Earth & Environment Group promises to advance environmental sustainability within the water industry in the northeast. As Dr. Frogbrook aptly pointed out, ‘sustain’ implies maintaining the status quo, but Northumbrian Water and the TU Earth & Environment Group share a vision of progress to enhance the environment for future generations. There’s no time to stand still.