What Is Water Neutrality?
Water Neutrality is defined in ‘A review of Water Neutrality in the UK” by Waterwise as
‘For every new development, total water use in the region after the development must be equal to or less than the total water uses in the region before the development’Waterwise
What Does The Future Hold For Water Neutrality?
Water Neutrality has been mandatory in West Sussex since September 2021. Lobbying and push backs from influential parties such as developers and councils has not had any real impact on it’s future. It seems as though it is here to stay.
Water Neutrality in West Sussex is just the beginning with regions around the country keeping a close eye with potential for them to also implement such a policy. It has also highlighted the need for new developments in the UK outside of the West Sussex area to become more water efficient/ Net Zero Water, as we have experienced with clients who are wanting Water Neutrality reports who are in non water neutral zones.
How Do I Achieve Water Neutrality?
The Natural England’s statement dated September 2021 outlined their position in relation to planning applications within the Sussex North Water Supply Zone. It defines Water Neutrality as
‘…the use of water in the supply area before the development is the same or lower after the development in place’
It also suggests the following approach:
- Minimise water use in new buildings by:
- Complete a water budget (based on occupancy)
- All buildings to demonstrate that they can achieve strict water targets (e.g. 85l/p/d)
This can be achieved by measures such as water efficient fittings, greywater recycling or rainwater harvesting
- Water offsetting
- This can be achieved for example by retrofitting low flow devices, rainwater harvesting or greywater recycling on council owned buildings located within Sussex North
These measures need to be implemented until such time as a more sustainable water supply has been secured. It will also need to be ensured that measures are not already proposed (for example in Southern Water’s Management Plan) to avoid double-counting.
Any mitigation must be suitably certain in order to comply with the Habitats Regulations and Caselaw.
How To Write A Water Neutrality Statement?
Firstly you must set the scene for the project/ development. Let the local authority know what the development is doing and how it benefits the local community if accepted. A water budget must be completed to show the usage of water based on occupancy, and the steps taken by you in reducing this value down to Net Zero (Any advice regarding this can be received if you setup a call with Net Zero Water). Lastly, conclude the updates and include any technical aspects in the report.
Can Net Zero Water Help Me Achieve Water Neutrality?
Yes, Net Zero Water can aid in all areas of water savings and reuse. Full service consultancy is available. Please feel free to setup a call to discuss options and get some free advice.