5 reasons why eDNA is the future for the water sector

You may have heard of the term ‘eDNA’ or ‘environmental DNA’ but want to know what it is and how exactly it can benefit the water sector. Here you can find out once and for all!

What is eDNA?

When businesses and governments want to know what is living where, they usually conduct biodiversity surveys so they can report on the natural world and their impacts on it. Traditionally, this involves going out and looking for species of concern, but recent advancements in DNA sequencing technologies have given us a new way to monitor ecosystems.

Rather than going out to find the animals themselves, all that is needed is a tiny sample of their DNA. As organisms move about, they shed dead skin cells, faeces, mucus and more into the environment, and these pieces contain their DNA. The environment is therefore full of “environmental DNA”, or eDNA, of the organisms living there, making the collection of their DNA possible without ever seeing the animals. Simply take a sample of the water or soil and you can capture biodiversity across the tree of life.

NatureMetrics offers powerful, scalable biodiversity data that is delivered safely and sustainably using DNA. Our range of cutting edge DNA tools can detect INNS species and species of conservation concern including terrestrial and semi-aquatic species. It can also be used to characterise fish, invertebrate and mammal communities.

Here are 5 reasons why the eDNA method is here to stay in the water sector:

Supports you moving towards Net Zero 2030

As water companies balance increased demand with the move towards net zero 2030, it is essential to find innovative solutions that provide increased sampling resolution and reduced sampling effort and cost. eDNA really is a cutting-edge environmental monitoring tool that helps you implement Net Positive Impact strategies.

Saves money and time

Conventional monitoring is time-consuming and expensive, requiring teams of specialists to spend many hours in the field. The use of eDNA will reduce survey time and the size of survey teams. Conventional surveys provide patchy data and are not easily scalable. Using our innovative technology and our wealth of expertise, NatureMetrics offers a cost-effective service that is easier, faster and delivers more comprehensive results.

Assists you in making informed decisions

Environment data collected using eDNA provides a more detailed picture than conventional survey methods and aids informed decision-making. NatureMetrics produces robust and replicable data which gives a clear picture of all species in the environment in unprecedented detail. We deliver data on microbes to megafauna in every sample.

Easy for your organisation to use

Limited training is needed for eDNA monitoring – it can be conducted by more people, more frequently and over wider areas.

Our simple-to-use sampling kits can be used by staff, contractors and/or citizen scientists to assess biodiversity and monitor for protected and invasive species, fish, mammals, invertebrate species and bacteria in a range of water bodies.

eDNA is an amazing new tool for ecologists – it won’t make their role redundant, but will add to the tools they have available.

Reduces health & safety risk

eDNA reduces sampling effort and time, reducing the size of sampling teams and time spent in the water. This reduces risk and makes sampling safer.

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