Introducing the newest water conservation initiative.
With pressure on existing water infrastructure higher than ever before, there is a need for us all to reduce our water consumption. The Environment Agency has recently explored the feasibility of ‘Water Neutrality Zones’ in the UK to combat the rising problem of mains water scarcity. Such zones would be applicable to new developments in water stressed areas, particularly in dense, urban populations.
What is Water Neutrality?
In essence, Water Neutrality is a defined geographic region where new developments cannot place any additional demand on mains water supplies than the previous use of the site. Steps should be taken to minimise demand, install water recycling technologies, then offset any additonal demands.
Why is Water Neutrality important?
As well as a need to reduce carbon emissions, we will be required to reduce water consumption to protect drinking water supplies for the future. Currently, the UK demands 16 billion litres of water per day. This figure is set to increase by an extra 3.4 billion litres of water per day by 2050. For reference, that is equivalent to an additional 1,360 Olympic swimming pools worth of water each day. Therefore, we must seek alternatives with green technologies which assist with water conservation.
How is Water Neutrality achieved?
Reducing water usage is the overall aim of Water Neutrality Regions. There are three simple steps to reduce reliance on mains water supplies.
Step 1: Reducing water use within the development should be achieved through installing toilets, taps and showers with water efficiency in mind. Culture is also another important aspect of reducing water consumption within a Water Neutrality Region. Users should be educated on the importance of water consumption to encourage water saving habits and behaviours.
Step 2: Water recycling technologies will help to reduce reliance on mains water supplies by using recycled water to meet non-potable demand across the site. The first of these technologies is Rainwater Harvesting which is proven to be less carbon intensive than traditional mains water supplies (Find out about the carbon saving potential of rainwater harvesting here).
Greywater Recycling is another emerging green technology within the UK which harvests water from showers, baths and handwash basins to supply toilets and urinals. Greywater Recycling is suitable for commercial and residentials properties where there is a large quantities of greywater waste and a large demand for a non-potable supply
Step 3: Finally, where mains water usage cannot be avoided, an effort should be made to offset this demand by investing in water conservation initiatives outside of the Water Neutrality Region. An example of offsetting would be retrofitting a StormStation to an existing school building which help conserve water in another community.
Carbon and Water Neutrality
The process of mains water production is one of the most carbon intensive activities in the UK. Recycling water through Rainwater Harvesting can reduce carbon outputs, watch our short video which explains more here.
How can Stormsaver help?
Stormsaver are the UKs leading Water Recycling specialists. We offer a range of bespoke rainwater harvesting and greywater recycling solutions which could help you achieve net zero mains water demand on your development. So, if you have a planning requirement to consider water recycling as part of your project contact us today!