Peatland makes up 12% of the total area of the UK but, unfortunately, 80% are in a poor condition where they have been drained or damaged by over-extraction.
The challenge is to reduce the cost of processing the water which has been polluted by running off the degraded peat land. South West Water supplies 340 million litres of water each year to 800,000 homes and 70,000 businesses in the South West of England.
Scottish Water has over 230 water treatment works supplied with water from over 400 catchments covering an area of nearly 80,000 km2. Both face an ongoing challenge to improve water quality upstream in order to reduce the rising operational cost of treatment downstream. Approximately 50% of the catchment areas are peatland or consist of soils with a high organic matter content.