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CP501  Quantifying the real impact of exploiting rainwater/greywater Water Resources
Project Appreciation and Objectives

With the ever growing need to conserve the UK's water resources, rainwater harvesting (RWH) and greywater recycling (GWR) solutions are developing fast. The agenda is being driven by system manufacturers, training providers and the environmental/ sustainability lobby. Water companies are being encouraged by their regulators to consider alternative ways of meeting the water demands of their customers but are not generally an active stakeholder in the area of RWH/GWR. Some companies have been involved in trials and it is recognised that there is likely to be a significant impact on public relations, environmental and social credentials should a water company oppose such systems.

The objective of this project will be to fully understand the true benefits, financial impact and risks to a water company of the growing market for RWH and GWR. This will ensure that a company is properly informed before making strategic decisions to support, or reject, these solutions and that the water industry is seen as an active stakeholder in the introduction of these systems.

Business Benefits to Clients

  • Confidence: A comprehensive review will ensure that all factors are considered when evaluating the value of these systems to a water company and that decisions are supported by evidence-based cost-benefit analysis.
  • Ownership: A clear plan to fill essential knowledge gaps will enable a company to formulate its approach to the inclusion of these systems in water resource and surface water management plans.
  • Maximising effort: The identification of other initiatives will allow participating companies to distinguish between those activities which need to be driven by themselves and those where they need engagement with others.

Work Programme

  1. Identification and prioritisation of factors which impact on the costs and benefits to a water company of installed RWH or GWR systems issues through project workshop and literature review.
  2. Collate evidence on possible risks, benefits and financial impact to industry.
  3. Undertake qualitative assessment of each prioritised issue and identify gaps.
  4. Identify initiatives by key stakeholders which could impact on trends and timescales for introduction of RWH or GWR systems.
  5. Map out activities in a strategic planning workshop to maximise benefits and minimise risks to water companies and allow the water industry to influence the direction of implementation.
  6. Project Output and Implementation

    • Situation report detailing the issues, evidence, qualitative assessment and gaps in knowledge to inform strategic and policy decision making.

    Related WRc Work

    • CP447 Metering and charging for Greywater recycling and rainwater harvesting. (2012)
    • CP431 Managing the risks to drinking water quality from rainwater and grey water. (2012)
    • CP433 Integrating an Ecosystem Services approach into Cost Benefit Analysis (2012)
    • Various projects relating to calculation of water use in new buildings compliant with the Part G Building Regulations.

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Summary of the £1.5 million per annum research programme

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