In recent months, there have been some concerns raised about groundwater abstraction that is impacting the Sussex North Water Supply Zone. This abstraction is likely impacting biodiversity within the affected areas. Arun, Chichester, and Horsham districts are impacted, as is Crawley borough.
The water that is supplied to this part of Sussex is sourced from areas linked to the Arun Valley. There are various consequences to this problem that impact future development in the area, as well as housing planning in the future. All new buildings and alterations to these regions will require that “water neutrality” be proven before the project can be started.
What is Water Neutrality?
Water neutrality means that the use of water in an area is balanced properly against the water that is provided to the region by rain and other resources. When water neutrality is in place, a home or a region does not use more water than what can be replaced through natural processes. This often requires sustainable practices of various kinds and can necessitate complex city planning and residential planning to meet this demand.
Water neutrality is becoming increasingly important all around the world and will eventually be a consideration in all kinds of different city planning processes.
What is Required to Build in West Sussex?
Due to the new concerns over water conservation and water neutrality in West Sussex, anyone who wishes to develop new residences or business in the affected regions needs to be able to provide a statement that indicates the following:
- Confirmation that there will be no increase in water consumption in the region. This will need to be backed up by stated intentions related to water efficiency practices, water recycling, and other offsetting measures.
- A water budget that shows what the baseline water consumption will be and what mitigation devices and processes will be put in place to maintain this baseline. There will also need to be discussions about how to maintain these goals once occupants move into the area and begin to live their daily lives in this area.
There are also indications that a submitted Water Neutrality Statement will become a requirement for various other projects in this region as well. Some of the requirements for water neutrality will likely change over time as water neutrality is a new concept and a very new consideration when it comes to building new housing and commercial properties.
What is the Objective of This Change?
For those who want to build homes or other properties in this region, it might seem like this new set of requirements is arbitrary. However, the objective of these new requirements is to reduce the burden on already challenged water resources to prevent worsening the conditions in this region.
This is already a much more common practice all around the world, and there is a good argument for all new development anywhere to take water neutrality into consideration. Even if there are abundant water resources on offer in a specific region of the world, water neutrality should be utilised to help maintain surpluses already in place.
For more information on how Net Zero Water can help in your water neutrality requirements, please contact us