A DEDICATED river health team has been set up by water company Yorkshire Water to help deliver a joined-up, region-wide approach across the many organisations and stakeholders in the county that have a role to play in further improving the health of watercourses.

The company says the new department aims to coordinate, collaborate and innovate on catchment improvements to help Yorkshire Water and others deliver its environmental commitments to both customers and regulators.

The 34-strong team will be working closely with community groups to understand what is important to them and develop a way of working together to improve river health in partnership.

Kevin Reardon, head of river health at Yorkshire Water, said: “We are committed as a business to playing our part to further improve river and coastal water quality around the region. The health of our rivers is a key national conversation, and we all have a lot to do to deliver investment in the areas that will make improvements to water quality.

“We know river and coastal water quality is a key priority for our customers and this new department illustrates our commitment to doing the right thing and working hard, alongside other stakeholders, as we begin our largest programme of environmental investment since privatisation.

“Yorkshire Water colleagues are passionate about the environment and we’re currently recruiting for 16 additional roles to help complete our team, which we believe will make further improvements to river health in the next two years and prepare ourselves for the next investment period 2025-2030.”

Yorkshire Water says the rivers of Yorkshire have come a long way, with the former industrial rivers of the Aire and Don being able to support migratory fish due to improvements to water quality and the removal of physical barriers. There is more to be done and the company is working to play its part by reducing storm overflow discharges, pollution events, and continuing to improve the capacity of its sewer network.

Applications for many of the new roles within the department are now open and can be found via the Yorkshire Water careers site. Roles available include, environmental investigation lead, river health improvement manager and river health partnership and community engagement advisor. All the roles will focus on improving the health of Yorkshire’s rivers through operational improvements, increased investigations and building working partnerships with community groups.