Rezatec shortlisted for BusinessGreen Leaders Awards 2016

BusinessGreen Leaders Awards 2016: Rezatec is shortlisted in the ‘Ecosystem Project of the Year’ category with its peatland integrity mapping and assessment project on Exmoor and Bodmin Moor for South West Water.  

The winners to be announced at the BusinessGreen Leaders Awards Ceremony on July 6th in London.

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Rezatec uses Earth Observation to measure peatland integrity and inform restoration prioritization for Northern Ireland Water

Rezatec, the innovative landscape intelligence company, has been working with Northern Ireland Water to undertake an innovative study of its Dungonnell catchment, on the Garron Plateau, to the North of Belfast, using its cutting edge Earth Observation (EO) techniques. The aim of the project is to look at the integrity of peatland in the catchment area and its risk to water quality, as well as to provide a prioritisation assessment for restoration activities.

To measure peatland integrity Rezatec used a range of Earth Observation sensors from high resolution satellite imagery to ground based peat depth measurements, to analyse numerous aspects of peatland structure including the depth and volume of organic soil, the classification of vegetation types and the identification of man-made disturbances such as peat cutting and ditching.

With this focus on peatland degradation and disturbance and their subsequent threat to water quality, the project has provided Northern Ireland Water with risk assessments of the catchments to understand the extent to which the elevated quantities of carbon often found in degraded peat are contributing to the level of water treatment required to achieve Drinking Water Standards. Ultimately, this understanding will enable Northern Ireland Water to make decisions that will result in lower costs and better water quality.

Roy Taylor, Catchment Manager for Northern Ireland Water, commented: “This project has been a unique new opportunity to use cutting edge earth observation techniques to understand our water catchments. The project with Rezatec is giving us new insights into the environment from which we take our water supply, and how we can improve water quality and ultimately reduce water treatment costs by implementing the most effective restoration activities.”

Philip Briscoe of Rezatec added: “Our EO techniques have proved extremely useful in meeting the challenges of peatland management, giving Northern Ireland Water quantified information on ecosystem integrity presented through an online, interactive geospatial portal.”

Rezatec uses advanced, scalable techniques to offer what it has termed ‘landscape intelligence’, which takes large volumes of Earth Observation data and uses it to analyse environmental risk and changes in agricultural land use. Rezatec now works with five UK water companies, including Scottish Water and Bristol Water, leading the market in supporting catchment management by identifying potential threats to water supply, in particular from different sources of diffuse pollution such as degraded peatland and agricultural land use.

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Scottish Water aims to use Rezatec peatland EO techniques to assist in protecting and improving source water catchments

Rezatec, the leading landscape intelligence data products provider, is working with Scottish Water on a proof-of-concept project to help assess peatland integrity across remote parts of their catchments to help protect and improve the quality of their source water.

High-resolution Earth Observation (EO) data, obtained mainly from optical and Radar satellite imagery, has been calibrated with spatial land cover and peat depth data to provide an accurate picture of peatland structure and integrity. Knowing the condition of peat can help Scottish Water focus any catchment activities.

Zoë Frogbrook, Technical lead for Catchment Management, Scottish Water said: “The use of earth observation data to assess peatland areas within our source water catchments will help us focus our activities to preserve important sources of drinking water. This not only helps to protect the environment but it will potentially reduce the cost of providing a clear fresh public water supply. If this project is successful then we may look at expanding Rezatec’s services across wider catchment areas.”

Patrick Newton, CEO at Rezatec commented: “Our combined processing of Earth Observation, UAV and ground data through the Rezatec platform is proving to be particularly useful for water utility companies wishing to take a cost-effective and scalable approach towards managing their water catchment areas. Peatland management is just one application that helps companies such as Scottish Water achieve these goals.”

Rezatec’s landscape intelligence platform offers a cost-effective way of measuring peat extent and how intact it is over wide and potentially remote areas that are otherwise expensive to measure or inaccessible from the ground.

Rezatec is bringing similar insights to other water companies and looks set to benefit many more in the coming months as well as in other sectors where its data products can also add value, for example, as a key part of the planning process for renewable energy projects, and, ensuring the quality and security of water supply for food and drink manufacturers.  

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