Jan 022016
 2 January, 2016  ·
Agenda21 and Hydropower in Gloucestershire

This 2015 BHA Annual Conference presentation by Water21 founder, Julian Jones, explains the catchment based advantages of hydropower as well as the broader environmental imperative. Download the pdf. More Water21 presentations can be found here.

Jun 212015
 21 June, 2015  ·
Living with Water

Report from the Commission of Inquiry into flood resilience of the future (March 2015) In autumn 2014, Parliament conducted a public inquiry into delivering future flood resilience to the country. This included taking evidence from industry, various Government agencies, and local authorities. The report seeks to set out the challenges facing local communities, and calls on both national and local government to demonstrate a greater sense of leadership, recommending a strategy which can help to provide some practical answers to these challenges. Disappointingly the Environment Agency failed both to appear before the inquiry or provide it with any written [read more…]

Oct 092014
 9 October, 2014  ·
The Killers in Our Midst

The privatisation of our water was claimed to be for the raising of investment for environmental improvements within a “natural monopoly”. Sustainable drainage (SUDS) was originated to achieve this at low cost, but after a quarter of a century it is still not being properly implemented. The reason is that the principles underpinning our water industry are both unsafe and illegitimate in almost all respects. WHEN THE LATE Kirsty MacColl gave up her Ealing garden to a rain and sewage recycling reed bed, cistern, and pond complex for the 1991 BBC documentary Don’t Go Near the Water, she wanted to both inform about [read more…]

Oct 012014
 1 October, 2014  ·
The Water Proxy–An Empirical Approach to Eradicating Ecocide

by Julian Jones, a water expert providing technical support for Water21. The human footprint on our planet has been catastrophic—more like the carnage caused by a vast beast rampaging blindly across our landscapes. However, by looking at the effects of this monster on the water cycle, we may identify some empirical means to resolve this destruction. ‘Climate change’ represents a more recent recognition of this damage—but the wider social and ecological costs are evident through the thousands of years of human intervention on the biosphere, long pre-dating the use of fossil fuels and agrochemicals. Our basic needs—energy, food and [read more…]

Mar 282014
 28 March, 2014  ·
PRESS RELEASE: £300K “Greenwash” Fish Pass Concerns

Worried landowners and residents have called in experts Water21 to advise on a massive construction project covering several hectares on the River Cam at Cambridge, Gloucestershire, where the Environment Agency are constructing a new fish pass. Osman Goring of Coaley was concerned that the EA are reportedly spending £300,000 on this scheme, when they cannot find modest sums for river flood maintenance. Mr Goring said “there was no consultation before planning permission being granted by Stroud District Council, nor is this within stated planning policy of living within our means, or helping communities.” “Spending large sums of public money [read more…]

Feb 272014
 27 February, 2014  ·

* This article appeared on our Huff Post column, 27th February 2014 * There was an odd reaction from the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) at their Birmingham Conference this week to proposals for controlled floodwater attenuation in upland farms (and elsewhere); condemning such plans as “ludicrous”. Many environmental engineers, even the Environment Agency, have been calling for such measures recently. However, in a script that could have come straight from Monty Python, NFU president Peter Kendall said farmland was “far too valuable” for this kind of usage; most peculiar, because this is precisely why such planned measures are being [read more…]

Nov 152013
 15 November, 2013  ·
“Fix the soil … the rest will fix itself”

Looking after the soil is a perhaps the most important long-standing tradition of sustainable farming practice, but only recently has the wider agricultural community started waking-up to this fundamental need.  An expansive, cultural “war on soil” has been under way for millennia and is deeply embedded in our psyche.  Truly sustainable economics and widespread prosperity can only be based on the viability of the land and its soil. The inclusive application of the full spectrum of beneficial farming methods now available to us could achieve this very end. This piece first appeared in the Biodynamic Association journal, Star & [read more…]

Sep 062012
 6 September, 2012  ·

* This article appeared on our Huff Post column, 6th September 2012 * Truly sustainable economics and widespread prosperity can only be based on the viability of the land and its soil–not on increasingly unsustainable supplies of oil. A discussion with a senior County Council officer revealed much that is wrong with our economy. ‘Nothing’, he said, ‘in terms of local infrastructure built after 1914 has any long-term value–however, everything remaining from before 1914 is of permanent value.’ This change occurred around the time that our costly meddling in Middle Eastern affairs really got under way–that is, as we [read more…]

May 092012
 9 May, 2012  ·

* This article appeared on our Huff Post column, 9th May 2012 * “It cannot be repeated often enough that there is no shortage of water in Britain. We divert only a small fraction of the throughput of our water cycle for human purposes. We use less than 1% of total UK rainfall and less than 10% in the South East.“ GMB Union National Officer Gary Smith When in 1991, the late Kirsty MacColl gave up her garden for a rain & sewage recycling reedbed, cistern, and pond system for a BBC TV programme, Don’t Go Near the Water, [read more…]

Mar 272012
 27 March, 2012  ·

* This article appeared in the Stroud News and Journal, 27th March 2012 * A PIONEERING scheme to protect dozens of homes from flooding along Slad Brook could also provide a £250,000 a year boost to the local economy, it has been claimed. Water 21, the not-for-profit organisation behind the plans, believes it can safeguard homes and deliver huge financial benefits by creating a series of holding ponds to store rainwater on the slopes of the Slad Valley. [go to website…]

Jul 012011
 1 July, 2011  ·
Water, where our "system" fails us ...

* This article appeared in the European fashion magazine VERY, 2011 * So basic in our life needs, yet so complex in fulfilment of any satisfactory standard, water is an all-embracing subject. Perhaps only by addressing our whole lifestyle and approach to it, can we fully do this justice. Because, it is really all about our system of life … do we flush and forget, can we leave a tap running … are we even aware of the implications of these and our other actions ? Many assume water is just another one of those products or services for [read more…]

Mar 011996
 1 March, 1996  ·
Treatment Alternatives for Rural Communities

From World Water and Environmental Engineering, March 1996. Carl Myers says that alternative methods such as reed beds and willow coppices could soon be used as a means of domestic effluent treatment in the UK. Water supply and sewage treatment have generally been viewed as a natural monopoly in the UK. Following privatisation of the water industry in England and Wales, the 1991 Water Industry Act allows firms to compete for the provision of services around the country. The industry regulator, OFWAT, is now considering one water company’s application to supply drinking water through another’s pipes. This is provided [read more…]

Aug 151994
 15 August, 1994  ·
Back to the Sewage Farm

A landmark article about sustainable water treatment, written by Julian Jones of Water21 for Resurgence magazine 20 years ago (issue 169, pp. 43–5, 1994). Julian Jones co-presented, produced, and co-funded the BBC programme Don’t Go Near the Water with the late Kirsty MacColl in 1991, and built a reed-bed for the purpose. Reed-bed treatment of sewage water is the vanguard of an ecologically sustainable lifestyle. “MAKING WATER WORK” was a slogan used to promote the privatization of the water industry in England and Wales. The whole process caused great public unease then and five years on, there are serious [read more…]