The woman behind Welsh Water’s award winning WaterSource approach that looks after drinking water catchments, Dr Phillippa Pearson, was awarded the Society for the Environment’s Environmental Professional of the Year. The awards, which were held in London last week, celebrate exceptional commitment or major achievement in protecting, preserving or enhancing the environment and advancing the principles of sustainability.
Dr Pearson, who lives in Pembrokeshire, was recognised for her exceptional work in leading Welsh Water’s Catchment Team, which aims to improve raw water quality before it reaches a treatment works, and for her commitment to professional standards.
After completing her PhD in Fluvial Geomorphology at Aberystwyth University, Dr Pearson joined Severn Trent Water in 2003 before moving to Welsh Water in 2006. She held a variety of operational roles within Welsh Water before moving into her current role to establish the water company’s Catchment Team in 2011.
As Welsh Water’s Catchment Manager, Dr Pearson is responsible for ensuring the water that goes into reservoirs, rivers and groundwaters across Wales and parts of England is of the highest possible quality before it reaches a treatment works. This minimises the amount of chemicals and energy used in treating the drinking water that reaches Welsh Water’s customers taps and builds resilience into the water supply system.
Dr Pearson said, “I’m delighted and overwhelmed to have been recognised for the Environmental Professional of the Year by the Society for the Environment. For as long as I can remember, I have been fascinated by water and the environment and my curiosity led me into the water industry. I consider myself privileged to not only be working in an industry I care so passionately about, but also to be surrounded by such a supportive and hard-working team. Awards like this are a huge boost for the team.
“As a not-for-profit water company, it’s so rewarding to see that the work we are doing for our customers is being recognised as industry-leading.”
Dr Emma Wilcox, Chief Executive Officer of the Society for the Environment, said, “We were delighted to name Dr Phillippa Pearson as our Environmental Professional of the Year for 2017. What stood out to us about Phillippa was her passion and commitment to professional standards. Not only does she embed environmental sustainability in her working life, to great success, but she is also a very prominent and hardworking champion of those values and perfectly exemplifies registered environmental professionals.
“She has supported many others on their professional journeys, and her wealth of experience makes her a valuable sponsor and mentor. It was a great pleasure to meet her and recognise her work. We hope her story will inspire others to follow her example.”