The Natural Grid

David Weight - AECOM


Water resources are abundant in the North of the UK whilst the demand for water is largest, and growing, in the South. With more frequent extreme weather events anticipated, severe problems could be inevitable.

The “Natural Grid” is a proposed canal that would run from the Scottish borders down to England’s South-East. The ambition is to have a large scale water supply, with a slight fall, so that no pumping will be needed. The water would serve water companies, who are facing the combined challenges of greater restrictions on water abstraction, population growth, and climate change, but would be primarily for food security, to help satisfy immense unmet water demand for abstraction for farms without the need for pumping. There could be many other benefits for transport, power, communications and amenity.

David Weight has had a long and varied career in construction. He co-wrote a book "Feasibility Studies in Construction” in the 80s, and has written many articles for “Building” and other magazines, as well as academic papers. In 2012, he won the James Watt Gold medal for a paper on embodied energy of timber products. Having retired from full time work, he still works part-time for AECOM’s sustainable design group.