Mid Kent Water has developed its new tool in conjunction with consultant Atkins to try and give a comprehensive picture of carbon use, including “embodied” carbon in physical components.
This includes not only carbon emissions associated with transportation and construction, but also operational activity on new plant, power consumption and chemical usage.
The new information will feed into Mid Kent's Water Resources Plan, which maps possible water resource options over the next 25 years, and PR09 business plan - the 2009 price review.
"A change in our climate could have a major impact on our water resources. It is predicted that over the next 25 years we will experience wetter and milder winters, and warmer and drier summers. Higher temperatures will also increase our water consumption and evaporation from surface water reserves.
"The ‘real’ costs of the schemes considered need to reflect potential environmental impact and benefit as well as more traditional capital and operating costs," it said.
Key elements of the new carbon tool are to estimate:
- The ‘embodied’ carbon within each element of an engineering scheme - carbon used to build a piece of equipment or a building. This could range from concrete or sand to water pipes or pumps.
- Carbon emissions needed to transport the manufactured equipment or material to the installation site.
- Carbon emissions required to install or construct the equipment on site.
- Emissions required to operate and maintain the site, including number and length of journeys to site.
- Emissions to generate the electricity to power the site and keep it stocked with water treatment chemicals.