Experts call for action on water efficiency and carbon reduction at Bricks and Water anniversary event
It's one year since the Westminster Sustainable Business Forum published its inquiry into housing growth and water management. This event brought together parliamentarians, water companies, regulators, and developers to discuss how we can increase resilience of our communities through water efficiency, flood mitigation and use of urban green space.
The agenda included a summary of the roundtable series completed over the last year and an address from the following speakers:
Luke Pollard MP spoke on his work as Shadow Minister for Fisheries, Flooding and Water. He described the issues surrounding flooding faced by his constituents in the southwest and set out his priorities for building water resilient communities.
“If we don’t lower personal consumption, we stand no chance of being water resilient in the future. Those communities that are affected by too little water at some times of the year, can also be affected by too much water at other times.”
Rachel Fletcher, CEO of Ofwat described how Ofwat promotes resilience of supply within water companies and their four success factors of partnerships, innovation, people, and company purpose.
John Curtin, Executive Director of Flood and Coastal Risk Management at the Environment Agency spoke about the EA’s flood and coastal risk strategy for England and the impacts that flooding can have on communities. He highlighted that the impact from flooding goes far beyond the individual and can have other consequences, such as metal health.
Peter Simpson, CEO of Anglian Water and Chair of the Business in the Community Water Taskforce gave a case-study of their Water Resilient Places scheme and how they are working to ensure water supply/quality in communities across the East of England.
Chris Stark, CEO of the Committee on Climate Change spoke about the committee’s ‘Fit for the Future’ report on UK housing and the recommendations for building new homes that are resilient to a changing climate.
“If new homes are not built to be low carbon, energy efficient, water efficient and climate resilient, then we are saving ourselves up a huge problem in the future. Getting the design right from the outset is very obviously the most sensible decision.”
Going forward, WSBF will be building on the recommendations made within Bricks and Water, especially with regard to water efficiency, flood resilience and the adoption of SuDS/green infrastructure. If you would like to be part of this work please robert.allen [at] policyconnect.org.uk (subject: Bricks%20%26%20Water) (get in touch.)