Hosted by Northumbrian Water at Five Lakes Resort in Colchester, the two-day get-together was attended by expert speakers and delegates from the worlds of engineering, ecology and agriculture, as well as some key figures within the water industry.
The aim of the conference was to explore how different industries can develop nature-based solutions to help our planet become more sustainable – something His Royal Highness has been championing for over half a century.
“Science, nature and the water industry are, of course, inextricably linked,” said The Prince of Wales in a recorded message.
“Your catchment areas span the British countryside with its multitude of land uses. From the peat uplands to the marsh, your sector encompasses every sort of farming type and scale, all sorts of different habitats and a huge variety of soil types.
“In this time of global climate crisis, nature-based solutions, I believe, are the key. But unlocking the full benefits will require creative thinking not just from scientists and land managers, but also from the planners, economists and regulators whose approval will be required.”
Various cross-industry challenges were discussed on the opening day of the conference before a raft of workshops allowed attendees to focus on certain opportunities and issues around innovation, legislation and costings. There was also a separate session on how the learnings from this event can be put into practice.
Collaboration was, and will be, paramount.
His Royal Highness said: “Connections must be made between organisations and initiatives to deliver faster, practical action at scale.
“These partnerships are critical because, of course, nature does not respect fence lines or water catchment boundaries and therefore it is essential we adopt more holistic and integrated ways of working together on this much larger, landscape scale.
“It is clear that globally and locally, the water industry is a crucial component of a green economic recovery, and so I can only urge you to come together, to connect with the land managers and the farmers and find ways of collaborating to deliver a truly sustainable future.”