The Moors for the Future Partnership presented a report on water quality to the  European Geosciences Union General Assembly in April. The gathering of over 11,000 scientists from 95 different countries is the largest geosciences meeting in Europe.

The report - Spatial variation in water quality within the water bodies of a Peak District catchment and the contribution of moorland condition was written by Tia Crouch and Jonathan Walker.

The abstract of the report was exhibited in poster form for one day and a member of the team on hand to talk about the report during a busy 90 minute question and answer session. There was a great deal of interest in the findings of the report and the wider work of the Moors for the Future Partnership. Moors for the Future’s name also came up in many other presentations at the Assembly.

The report builds on a previous poster presentation of the project at IUCN Peatlands Symposium in Bangor in June 2012.

The year-long Upper Derwent water quality project ran from January 2012 to January 2013 and was funded by the Environment Agency and Severn Trent Water. The project monitored the concentration of dissolved organic carbon (DOC), pH, water colour and heavy metals copper and zinc in water in the Bamford water treatment works catchment area.

Heavy metals are a particular problem – they are a legacy of industrial pollution, when atmospheric deposits from factories were stored in the peat. This peat and the pollutants it contains is eroded from moorlands in degraded condition and enters the water courses. This is a big issue for the Environment Agency as it can have significant impact on the ecological condition of the water bodies, and for water companies as there are strict drinking water standards and the contaminants must be removed before water enters the supply system.

The final report has been submitted to the Environment Agency and Severn Trent Water Limited and a meeting took place on 26th April to discuss the findings with water experts and consider how to address and prioritise areas within the catchment for improvements.

Find out more

European Geosciences Union General Assembly