UK Water Efficiency Awards 2012

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Case studies of winners and runners up of the Waterwise UK Water Efficiency Awards 2012.

Contents

  1. Built Environment, sponsored by Polypipe 1
  2. Business and Industry, sponsored by Business Stream 5
  3. Campaigns and Education, sponsored by Homebase 8
  4. Community-led Initiative, sponsored by Defra and the Love Your River Campaign 11
  5. Farming and Horticulture, sponsored by Kettle Chips 14
  6. Innovation, sponsored by Water Security Knowledge Exchange Programme 17
  7. Landscape and Gardening, sponsored by Hozelock 20

DMRC Headley Court and Sutton and East Surrey Water – Headley Walled Garden Project 22

  1. Research and Evaluation, sponsored by Ofwat 23
  2. Exemplar Project in Northern Ireland, backed by The Consumer Council 27
  3. 10.Exemplar Project in Scotland, backed by Consumer Focus Scotland 31
  4. 11.Exemplar Project in Wales, backed by The Welsh Government 33
  5. 37

CATEGORIES

  1. Built Environment, sponsored by Polypipe

Projects that make use of proven water efficiency technologies, including rainwater and/or greywater systems, in refurbishment and/or retrofit of existing homes

Essex & Suffolk Water –  H2eco (Phase 6) H2eco is Essex & Suffolk Water’s leading large-scale retrofit project which, since its inception, has delivered 8,996 water audits to metered and un-metered customers. The sixth phase has been the most successful so far in demonstrating best practice in a full retrofit project. 15,587 customers were contacted in the sixth phase of H2eco with the aim of completing 3,000 water audits. 3,002 water audits were successfully completed, representing a 19.26% uptake rate. Undertaking H2eco resulted in measured water savings totalling 46,442.4 litres per day, which equates to an average measured saving of 44.56 litres per day for each participating property. 

BEST OUTCOME: We helped 3,002 households save on average 44.6 litres of water per day! 

ADVICE: Make it easy for customers to take part – do the work for them. 

CONTACT

Tom Andrewartha
Demand Planning Team Leader
Essex & Suffolk Water
Sandon Valley House, Canon Barns Road, South Hanningfield, Chelmsford, Essex CM3 8BD
01268 664360
thomas.andrewartha@nwl.co.uk
Photo 1 – Plumber measuring the flow rate of a kitchen tap before fitting an Eco-Flow Tap Spray.  Photo 2 – Plumber mid-way through fitting an ecoBETA dual flush retrofit device.  Photo 3 – The contents of the initial packs mailed to customers within the project area. Included is an introductory letter, leaflet, tea towel, washing machine magnet and a reply envelope. Also pictured are the pre-mailer and reminder postcards.  Photo 4 – A bus sheltered advertisement on a key route in Basildon, Essex.  Photo 5 – A plumber’s van with decals advertising the project.

More than three thousand water customers in Basildon are saving litres and pounds thanks to the latest stage of Essex & Suffolk Water’s ‘H2eco’ initiative, which has already benefited nearly nine thousand other Essex locals.

The ‘H2eco’ project gave homeowners the opportunity to choose from a selection of free water efficiency products for the home and garden to help save two of our most precious resources: water and money.

A staggering total of 20,652 water-saving products were delivered as part of the project. As a result each household that took part is saving on average 44.6 litres per day, which equals 16,279 litres per year. This is the equivalent to each customer saving 203 full baths per year or flushing the toilet over 1,800 times.

Water and wastewater treatment are energy intensive processes – by saving water, energy is also saved and carbon emissions reduced. The latest stage of H2eco means that 42.5 tonnes of CO2 emissions a year are being stamped out.

The big water saving for the environment also adds up to a boost to customers’ pockets with savings of £47.21 per year on average expected. In total this latest stage of the project has saved our customers £141,724.42 a year.

Essex & Suffolk Water project manager, Tim Wagstaff, said: “This is the sixth stage of the H2eco project and the most successful to date. We’ve tried to make it as easy as possible for customers to take part and this has resulted in thousands of customers benefiting from the programme.”

Plumbers installed the products free of charge and also offered advice about simple ways to save water. Customers were clearly impressed with the service provided; with 99.6% of customers stating that they were happy with the overall level of service.

When asked about the best part of the project, a customer from Ballards Walk in Basildon, said: “The demonstration by the plumber in relation to the water savings made prior and after installation of the items. Definitely an eye opener regarding the savings.”

Another happy H2eco participant from Norfolk Close in Basildon said: “Very helpful plumber and excellent new fittings which will save water. Great job done.”

Essex & Suffolk Water took an innovative approach to encourage customers to take part in the project. Customers could participate via telephone, post, text message and online. A high uptake rate was also helped by the use of bus shelter advertisements, van decals and pre-mailer post cards.

Working in partnership with housing associations has also played a key part in the project’s success. Teaming up with Family Mosaic and Circle Housing proved one of the most effective ways to encourage customers to participate. This was put down to the confidence residents’ gain in the projects by the association with their housing association.

This sixth phase of H2eco will also help guide future projects. Follow-up surveys sent to customers have provided valuable information on how the leaflet looked, the content, how products are performing and whether they are still installed, as well as analysing other areas of the project.

The project leaves a lasting legacy for the thousands of customers that have taken part; both the housing stock and the behavioural change in customers themselves.

93% of customers have confirmed since the project that they are more aware of the water they use around their home.

A recent review confirmed that the metered savings are sustained two months after the project, highlighting the effectiveness of fitting water saving products and delivering effective behaviour change messages.

Anglian Water, Braintree District Council, Global Action Plan, Greenfields Community Housing and Waterwise – Tap into Savings (Braintree) Tap into Savings, a community-level water and energy saving programme led by Waterwise and Global Action Plan, was launched in the Braintree District in September 2010 in partnership with Anglian Water, Braintree District Council and Greenfields Community Housing, with core funding from Defra’s Greener Living Fund and support from Essex and Suffolk Water.

The project consisted of home retrofit visits, DIY pack distribution and EcoTeams, through which friends and neighbours worked together to save even more water and energy. In total 3,142 homes – about one-third Greenfields’ properties – received home visits that included the installation, where suitable, of dual-flush mechanisms, tap inserts, shower flow regulators, hose guns and cistern displacement devices.

Based on the products installed, about 88,447 litres of water was saved per day, which represents a water savings of about 15% of household use or 28 litres per day. Saving water, gas and electricity can help reduce household bills and protect local water supplies and biodiversity for the future. The project showed residents how easy it is to make substantial savings at home and, at the same time, help safeguard precious water supplies.

BEST OUTCOME We fitted over £7,500 water-saving products in 3,000 households, saving nearly 90,000 litres of water 

ADVICE An enthusiastic leader can motivate others to get involved

Photo One – Greenfields tenants who supported the project

Photo Two – Project Partners 

Amanda Bhavnani

Communications Advisor

Greenfields Community Housing

Greenfields House, Charter Way, Braintree, Essex, CM77 8FG

01376 332473

07887890266

Amanda.bhavnani@GreenfieldsCH.org.uk

Tap into Savings, a national water and energy saving project led by Waterwise, was launched in September 2010 in the Braintree District and around 3,000 homes now have free water-saving devices installed, including nearly 1,000 of Greenfields Community Housing’s properties. 

The project was delivered in partnership with Anglian Water, Braintree District Council, Global Action Plan, Greenfields Community Housing, and Waterwise, and was funded in part by Defra’s Greener Living Fund. Braintree District was the third Tap into Savings project to launch; the other projects were in Surrey and Coventry.

Many residents in the Braintree District were offered the opportunity for a free home visit from an Anglian Water plumber to install up to £30 worth of the free devices and to show the resident how to use them. They included: 

  • A device to convert single flush to dual flush (saves up to 100 buckets of water or £20 from annual metered water bill)
  • Kitchen and bathroom tap inserts (saves up to 1,000 washing-up bowls of water or £5 per year from gas/electricity bill)
  • Hose guns (reduces the amount of water used by 50%)
  • A ‘Shower-save’ (saves up to 2,000 watering cans of water or £25 from annual metered water bill)
  • Thermometer card to indicate if the room is too hot or cold (reducing temperature by 1 degree could reduce household heating bills by up to 10% per year or £55)

Generally, the project helps to save around 15% of water use in homes, which is just over 28 litres per day. In addition to the visits, residents could come along to an EcoTeam meeting, where they met new friends and neighbours to find out more about home visits, how to save more water and energy and how to recycle more, as well being given other products to trial. 

Mrs Sharon Scott from Braintree received a home visit from Anglian Water and said: “The plumber was very helpful and we’re looking forward to lower bills. It’s a win/win offer.”

Phil Adams, Chief Executive at Greenfields, said: “We jumped at the chance to support this project and to offer it to our residents because it sums up nicely what we stand for: benefitting communities, engaging residents and saving money & energy.”

Allan Reid, Chief Executive, Braintree District Council, said: “Braintree District Council was really keen to get Tap into Savings up and running in our district. Saving water, gas and electricity can help reduce household bills and protect local water supplies and biodiversity for the future. The project showed our residents how easy it is to make substantial savings at home and, at the same time help, safeguard precious water reserves.”

  1. Business and Industry, sponsored by Business Stream

Projects that save water and save money for private sector companies; projects seek to engage employees with water efficiency will be scored higher than technology-only approaches

Greenvale AP – Project Cascade Cascade is a unique water recycling system for root crop vegetables. It has overcome the challenges of high water use and severe environmental issues, and enhanced finished product appearance and microbiological integrity. A high volume ‘closed loop’ of continuously recycled, clean chilled water – with the waste removed each time it cycles – has been achieved with Cascade at Greenvale’s plant in Shropshire.

Since the investment of £1 m in October 2009 Cascade has reduced water use by 85% which has saved over 45 m gallons (200 m litres). Over 3000 tonnes of waste has been recycled. Estimate for payback was 5 years but because of the extraordinary results this has been achieved in 3.5 years.

BEST OUTCOME: The challenges of saving 85% of water and £300,000 a year were achieved

ADVICE: A seemingly impossible challenge can be overcome by innovation and determination

Name: MARTIN LEWIS

Telephone: 07740910785

Email: martin.lewis@greenvale.co.uk

Greenvale, as a potato processor, faced the huge challenges of reducing its high water and effluent costs and solving the environmental issues associated with high slurry production. Another challenge was to improve appearance and bacteriological integrity of the finished product.

To overcome these challenges a unique water recycling system was designed using existing technologies from many industries and combining them with a state of the art computer control system to create a fully automatic continual circulation and treatment system. A company called Mobile Separation Equipment agreed to build and install the concept. No one could prove or disprove the theory, even eminent experts would not commit to a decision on the outcome. “I cannot say that it won’t work” was a quote from a professor in fluid dynamics.  Even so, the Greenvale main board approved £1m to deliver the project and Cascade was born.

The groundbreaking methodology was to create a constant loop of water, circulating at very high volume and being filtered, purified and chilled on each cycle, some eight times per day. All the soil and solids are removed by several separation systems and are collected in a semi-dry state for recycling. This removes the enormous cost and environmental issue of high slurry waste. The plant was commissioned in October 2009 and immediately surpassed the expectations on water saving and waste controls. An 85% reduction in water use, almost zero effluent (and the little there is, is clean water), recycling of the semi-dry soil, sand and peel filtrates and a remarkably improved appearance of the finished product which, due to the high bacteriological integrity of the wash water, has enhanced shelf life. Another aspect of Cascade is the potential for chilling the washed product, another element of bacterial control, which was facilitated by ‘the closed loop’ being insulated, making chilling super-efficient and reducing energy costs by 50%. The absence of dirty water from the wash lines enhanced plant hygiene and the wash area was transformed from a very difficult area to keep clean into one to be proud of. “If I hadn’t seen it I wouldn’t have believed it possible,” said our dedicated wash area hygiene operative who has worked at Greenvale for over 20 years.

Customer reaction to Cascade has been extremely positive on both product enhancement and environmental excellence.

In order to benchmark the Cascade system a third-party expert on food processing was commissioned to make an in depth study of the new washing process. The extensive report concludes “In my opinion in the future all root crop vegetables should be washed with the Cascade system.”

Payback on the £1m investment is 3.5 years, but non-tangible benefits are instantly seen in both employee morale and visible site environmental standards. 

Cascade is a major breakthrough in an established industry where age-old issues have remained unchallenged and become the accepted norm. Modern technology, innovative thinking and wise investment have taken us into a new era of process and environmental control.

Cascade is protected by a non-disclosure agreement but is available to third parties who may be interested. Already keen interest has been shown by UK companies as well as companies from the USA, Canada, South Africa, Australia and Europe. The future looks very bright for both Cascade and the environment.

Barts Health NHS Trust – Water Efficiency In 2009 Barts and The London NHS Trust, a large Acute Hospital Trust in central London which is now part of Barts Health NHS Trust, entered into a partnership with ADSM (Aquafund) with the aim of reducing their water consumption across its operation. Following the establishment of a baseline against which results were measured, the two organisations worked together to implement a series of water-saving measures. The project has been a huge success with the Trust achieving a 30% reduction in consumption and a saving of £300,000.

BEST OUTCOME: We saved 100m litres of water since 2009, reducing consumption by 35% and saving £300K

ADVICE: Create strategic partnerships to draw upon expertise in the field

Fiona Daly

Environmental Manager

Barts Health NHS Trust (Barts and The London)

3rd Floor, 9 Prescot Street, London, E1 8PR

0207 4804717

07825 273630 

Fiona.daly@bartshealth.nhs.uk

Barts and The London NHS Trust, now part of Barts Health NHS Trust, is a large Acute Hospital Trust in central and East London comprising both older existing estate through to brand new, state-of-the-art PFI buildings. The Trust spends around £1m a year on water, which makes up about 20% of our overall utility expenditure. Over the past three years the Trust have worked hard to reduce their CO2 emissions across all services; energy, waste, water, travel and procurement and have reduced their building energy emissions by 43% since 2007. This was reflected by the Trust achieving the Carbon Trust standard.

As part of its commitment to reducing our water usage, the Trust joined the AquaFund® grant scheme back in 2009. Since then they have reduced their overall water consumption by over 30%, saving 100m litres – the equivalent of reducing the shower time of every Londoner by 10%. Reducing water consumption has also resulted in corresponding cost savings for the Trust, and contributions from AquaFund® to WaterAid, which is dedicated to improving access to safe water, hygiene and sanitation for the world’s poorest communities.

The NHS Trust joined the ground breaking AquaFund® scheme when it was awarded a substantial grant from the £700m fund. Under the AquaFund® scheme, supplied by water management specialists ADSM, the Hospital Trust was provided with everything necessary to make their water efficiencies and financial savings, including; the full grant, consultancy services, site audits and state-of-the-art water saving technologies, together with water data and tariff analysis, bill validation services and on-going monitoring.

In addition to the water consumption savings the Trust particularly liked the scheme’s interface and support of WaterAid. The Fund donates 1% of all its revenue directly to the charity WaterAid, so Barts and the London is helping this charity while also saving water. Projects in Mali and India have benefited from the Trust’s participation with AquaFund®.

Fiona Daly, Environmental Manager from Barts Health  NHS Trust, says: “There have been water shortages in the South East region of England for a number of years but in February it was officially declared a drought area. Households and organisations were asked to conserve water; something Barts and The London NHS Trust has now been doing very successfully for several years through AquaFund®.”

Pete Lamb from Water Aid says “It’s vital that more organisations like Barts and The London join AquaFund®, saving water in the UK and boosting support for those most in need.” 

Barts Health have recently renewed their partnership with ADSM to continue the work at Barts and the London and extend the project in order to achieve greater water, carbon and financial savings across its estate.

  1. Campaigns and Education, sponsored by Homebase

Projects that seek to, for example, influence water-using behaviours, encourage uptake of home visit retrofit offers and/or raise awareness of our impact on the natural water environment; projects that demonstrate an understanding of their target audience(s) and/or have used research to inform the development of their initiative will be given higher scores

GabiH2O, Nickelodeon, United Utilities and Southern Water – GabiH2O on Nickelodeon GabiH2O, in partnership with TV network Nickelodeon UK, and sponsored by United Utilities and Southern Water, oversaw the launch in mid-May 2012 of Gabi the camel, the UK’s first on-air animated character dedicated to educating children about water efficiency. 

Gabi came to life as a 3D animated character on Nickelodeon and Nicktoons in 60- and 30-second educational advertorials, featuring him interacting with real kids and providing top tips on water conservation in an original rap. The goal is enlisting kids’ help in stressing to their parents the need not to waste that most precious of natural resources – water. Supporting the on-air activity is a fun, interactive microsite to drive home the message that saving water is important. 

BEST OUTCOME Achieving behaviour change through edutainment. Building a ‘conservation generation’.

ADVICE It’s human nature to resist behaviour change when pressured – stop lecturing consumers

The path of least resistance is to educate while entertaining – get creative 

Name: Avi Djanogly

Telephone: 07785232794

Email: avi@gabih2o.com

Behaviour change can be achieved through edutainment. Stop lecturing and get creative

The question was how do you get the water saving message out to the widest audience and effect behaviour change on a mass scale? For GabiH2O, the answer was to partner with TV network Nickelodeon UK, and sponsored by United Utilities and Southern Water, to oversee the launch in mid-May 2012 of Gabi the camel, the UK’s first on-air animated character dedicated to educating children about water efficiency. This national media campaign has been reaching millions of kids. The goal was to harness pester power for positive behaviour change, which was supported by a dedicated schools programme in partnership with Eco-Schools sponsored by United Utilities and Southern Water.

The campaign went live on 14 May, running 3-5 times per day on Nickelodeon channels. The average viewing figures are 5.5 million per month, of which roughly half are kids 4-15, and 1.6 million are parents. The accompanying website has had over 174,700 visits and more than 211,300 page views, suggesting a high level of engagement with Gabi and his message. Kiaran Saunders, Vice President, Commercial Director, Nickelodeon UK, says “We are immensely proud of what we have achieved working with Gabi.” 

In West Cumbria, in the programme sponsored by United Utilities, 89 schools were sent GabiH20 materials (a water cycle poster, lesson plan, water saving trump cards). 43 schools responded positively and requested water saving activities organised by United Utilities and Gabi in the autumn. This level of uptake illustrates the power of positive social messaging coupled with excellent education materials employed in the classroom. We will be able to more formally measure behaviour change at end of autumn term.

Southern Water is also launching their schools programme with Gabi in the autumn, targeting over 100 schools in the Brighton and Thanet areas. Activities and contests planned to promote water saving include

  • Adopting a camel at Marwell Wildlife Park and the Oasis Camel Centre
  • Contest to win a special school visit to the Oasis Camel Centre for their school
  • Giveaway for  tickets to Nickelodeon Land

Essex and Suffolk Water have given out 594 Gabi children’s kits in 274 of the properties that have taken part in their H2eco project retrofit. Essex and Suffolk Water wanted to not only engage adults but children too. They recognise that the children’s kits – complete with singing toothbrush (encouraging kids to “stop the gush when they brush”), the trump cards, the water saving workbook, the kids water bottle and the pencil case – capture not only the kids imagination but also the attention of their parents. This leads to real behaviour change with regard to the way water is used and perceived.

GabiH2O has harnessed the medium of mass media reach to create the first unified nationwide outreach campaign dedicated to saving water, reaching millions. By partnering with Nickelodeon Gabi has ensured a nationwide audience is being exposed to the water saving message. And it’s working, as kids are becoming more ‘waterwise’. Seven-year old Alex, from the Isle of Wight says, “I like your rap every time I go on your website I play it and sometimes I sing to it. Every time I see water going to be wasted I water the plants with it. My mum calls it Gabi-ing.” 

And the message is spreading thanks to our profile. We have been approached by over 30 schools and scout groups since launch on TV to help with water saving campaigns. Gabi is also using the education muscle of Eco Schools who wish to take the Gabi water saving message to their 17,000 affiliated schools.

Energy Saving Trust and Waterwise – EU Life+ Project Combining Water and Energy Efficiency This EU Life+ RENEW project was a three-year research and communication project, promoting the water-energy links and benefits to consumers in the UK, and exploring the feasibility and success of phone calls, direct mailing, events, and home visits to improve water awareness and behaviour change. From 2009 to 2011, over 25,000 people received water efficiency advice in London, Edinburgh and Cardiff. The largest water efficiency research project of its kind in the UK and mainland Europe, RENEW was funded by EU Life, the Department of Energy and Climate Change, and the Scottish Government. 

The project relied on partnership working between the following agencies and organisations: Energy Saving Trust, Waterwise, Defra, Welsh Government, Scottish Government, Environment Agency Wales, Welsh Water, Thames Water, Essex and Suffolk Water, Sutton and East Surrey Water, Climate Energy, Accent, Aqualogic, Wales and West Housing Association and Valleys 2 Coast Housing Association.

BEST OUTCOME: Combining energy and water efficiency advice and installation. 

ADVICE: Quality engagement beats quantity.

PHOTO CREDITS:

  • EU Life_Summary Report Cover (Energy Saving Trust)
  • EU Life_Marketing Message (Energy Saving Trust)
  • EU Life_EST_Launch_Mark Foster (Energy Saving Trust)
  • EU Life_Corporate Event (Energy Saving Trust)
  • EU Life_Wales Home Visit (Aqualogic)

Andrew Tucker

Water Strategy Manager

Energy Saving Trust

21 Dartmouth St,  London   SW1H 9BP

020 7654 2646

07766347776

Andrew.Tucker@est.org.uk

The Energy Saving Trust and Waterwise spent three years investigating what communication and engagement methods do and don’t work, when aiming to help households improve their awareness of water efficiency and change their behaviours to reduce household energy and water bills. Over 25,000 people received water efficiency advice in London, Edinburgh and Cardiff, as part of the project, the largest water efficiency research project of its kind in the UK and mainland Europe. 

The project found that when unprompted, only 8% of consumers surveyed were aware of the link between water use and energy cost. However the general appreciation that it is important to save water was high at 7%. This improved to 93% during the project, through regular water saving advice. The highest levels of behavioural change were achieved when focus was on the simple types of behaviour or commonly used devices (e.g. turning taps off, shorter showers, washing in a bowl). However, the way these messages were delivered, greatly influenced the awareness and the success of behavioural change.

“We determined what communication and engagement methods do and don’t work for water efficiency awareness and behaviour change” 

Delivering ‘top tips’ style advice through light touch methods (phone and mail) resulted in little increase in water saving awareness or behaviour change. Face-to-face in-home approaches provided a better quality of advice, resulting in increases in recall of advice given and actual behavioural change. These visits used tailored householder-specific advice, rather than top-tips. Combining advice with the installation of water-saving measures (aerated taps, efficient shower heads) had the greatest impact.

Real benefit can be achieved for the customer when combining water with general energy efficiency advice in an integrated customer engagement approach. This is also a more cost effective delivery method.

It is estimated that nearly 18,000 water saving measures have been achieved as a result of this project. A combination of both water saving device and behavioural measures. Overall, the estimated impact of this project for all 25,000 people advised through the pilots on an on-going annual basis is:

  • 523 tonnes of CO2 from homes per year
  • 176,000 cubic metres of water from homes per year
  • £34,000 on fuel bills for householders
  • £101,000 on water bills for householders (not including those in Scotland)
  1. Community-led Initiative, sponsored by Defra and the Love Your River Campaign

Projects that are delivered by or with community-based organisations or other locally-based groups, and in which people have come together to improve the local water environment and raise awareness of peoples’ impact on it; projects involving a diversity of local organisations/informal groups will be given higher scores as well as projects creating volunteer opportunities within the community

Action for the River Kennet and Thames Water – Care for the Kennet The River Kennet is one of England’s finest chalk streams, but it’s under pressure. This was brought into sharp focus during the recent drought, which was so severe that the upper reaches of the river dried completely. Thames Water and Action for the River Kennet (ARK) teamed up to deliver a campaign ‘Care for the Kennet’, with the simple message ‘Your water comes from here – the less you use, the more is left in the river’. ARK helps 12,000 Thames Water customers in the upper Kennet area to understand more about the river and to make the link between the river and their taps and make it easy to reduce their water use and protect their local river.

BEST OUTCOME Two schools generated 45-46% participation within their local communities, saving nearly 4,000 l/d between them.

ADVICE Home visits result in better customer awareness and sustained water savings than giving out devices.

Charlotte Hitchmough Director Action for the River Kennet PO Box 2919, Manton, Marlborough, Wiltshire, SN8 4WE 07880515859 charlotte@riverkennet.org

The recent drought brought the state of the Kennet in to sharp focus for local residents, and they were shocked to see the riverbed dry, and keen to do something about it. Action for the River Kennet (ARK) and Thames Water were able to help them by offering free water saving makeovers in their homes and free water-saving gadgets. Care for the Kennet is the blueprint for Defra’s nationwide Love Your River campaign which aims to support the long-term environmental wellbeing of the local river where public water supplies come from.

But, the aim was to get everyone to understand that it’s not just during drought that it is important to use water efficiently, so Care for the Kennet worked with children in primary and secondary schools to increase understanding of chalkstream habitats and increase knowledge of where their tap water comes from. 

Local teacher Jenny, and ARK’s director Charlotte helped students to understand the ecology of chalkstreams by running ‘Trout in the School’ and ‘Mayfly in the Classroom’ projects. Designed by the Wild Trout Trust, the mayfly project used old lemonade bottles to create aquaria to hatch mayfly-larvae into mayfly to release into the river. The ‘Trout in School’ project let students raise brown trout from eggs to fry in a purpose built aquarium which replicate chalkstream conditions. Children loved visiting the river and felt a real sense of responsibility for the creatures they released in to it.

We challenged 13 schools to persuade their local community to use less water by requesting free water saving devices or home makeovers. Each school rose to the challenge in different ways. Ramsbury Primary School set up a Water Warriors group and held a march through their village with handmade banners. Other schools created leaflets and posters or designed T-shirts. More than 330 requests for devices and home makeovers came from the school community engagement programme, delivering almost 12,000 litres per day assumed water savings.

We had great media coverage in the press, on local radio and regional TV. Our Trout in the Classroom fish release was filmed by the BBC, and the Water Warriors march was well reported in the local press, and local MP Claire Perry even wrote to the children to congratulate them on their efforts.

In addition to the classroom work and community engagement campaigns, each school was offered an Automatic Meter Reader to track in-school use, with a prize to reward the school which saves the most on-site water (pro-rata by occupancy numbers) by the end of 2012.

Alongside the schools work Care for the Kennet ran a series of ‘pop-up’ events at leisure centres, shops and fairs, where people could sign up for free water saving makeovers or take away free water saving gadgets. We were able to take our stand to a special event to mark the Queen’s Jubilee, attended by the Queen and Prince Phillip, and although Her Majesty didn’t sign up for water-saving gadgets, it was excellent publicity. As the project developed, we focused on persuading people to sign up for makeovers as their first choice, to make sure that water saving was really happening, and that customers had their gadgets properly installed. Many of these events were ‘manned’ by ARK volunteers alongside a dedicated employee. Climate Energy, the partners who carry out the home makeovers, also came along to some of these events, offering an instant home installation service. Around 130 home makeovers have been completed to date.

Blacon Community Trust – Blacon Energy Management Programme and Save Money Keep Warm 150 householders in Chester were concerned about water bills and conservation, so Blacon Community Trust developed the Blacon Energy Management Programme. Dee Valley Water advised householders on water supply and how to cut consumption and bills. With the support of Waterwise, Dee Valley Water, and manufacturers, they also opened an Eco House with water advice and latest technologies. This is now a regional sustainability centre for schools, manufacturers and householders. This project finished with an energy/water efficiency makeover of their houses.  

In their Save Money Keep Warm Project, 117 vulnerable householders visited the Eco House for advice on cutting energy and water use through staff and trained volunteers. They then visited them at home, fitting water-saving devices and encouraging water reduction.

BEST OUTCOME: Local people and water specialists engaged and took practical steps to save water and money.  

ADVICE: Engage and train passionate volunteers and link up with your water supplier.

Ged Edwards, Sustainable Programme Manager 

Blacon Community Trust 

The Eco House, 2 Stamford Road, Blacon, Chester CH1 5DG

01244 380150 

07961 077299

ged@blacon.org.uk

Angie Moray Project Coordinator at same address 01244 380150 angie@sustainableblacon.org.uk 

Blacon Community Trust (BCT) has been working throughout Cheshire since 1986. Addressing climate change the language they talk is both that of their area and the planet, making much of visual stimuli. No small feat in an area of significant disadvantage where the focus is on saving money. 

In 2010, via Department of Energy and Climate Change funding in the Low Carbon Communities Challenge, BCT included 150 households in its Blacon Energy Management Programme, installed some standard and some super intelligent technology into homes, and pulled people together to meet regularly to find out more about climate change and share thoughts and experience. From climate change sceptics to welly-wearing allotment enthusiasts and with most interested in saving money and showing Blacon off to the world, meetings culminated in hearty debate. The staff team had given little thought to water conservation in the programme and were surprised by the widespread and deep concern about water and its costs. Householders approved when Dee Valley Water undertook to lead the topic on water supply and conservation. Chris Smith gave an excellent presentation to the three sessions with 62 households attending, as impressed with their interest as they were with the broader picture. This link has proved fruitful for Blacon residents and Dee Valley Water ever since.

DECC funding also paid for the Eco House refurbishment, a welcoming home for visitors of all backgrounds. In designing water supply in the House, they had little experience but Jacob and Joanne at Waterwise provided valuable support and contacts. Here, whatever your knowledge level or approach, the volunteers now guide you through the house with its familiar environment.  Technology alone will leave us far short of our reduction targets. A friendly face and a cuppa makes up some of the difference in encouraging people to behave a little differently and people see and touch the technology which is their next step.  

Dave Oxley, who has volunteered with the organisation since 2008, visits the Eco House regularly to look after the garden and encourages those waiting at the adjoining bus stop interested to take water-saving measures, proudly pointing to the water butt in the front garden.

Responding to local people’s concerns, resident Rosemary Burns was typical of those determined to include water conservation and rising costs in these projects. “We’re all concerned about our water bills,” she says, but “people don’t know what to do!” This has certainly proved to be the case with many of the 720 Eco House visitors. So the team were keen to include this in Save Money Keep Warm last winter when so many were struggling with even higher bills, and in comparing water use in Uganda and the UK on schools’ visits.

Last winter the team of 11 volunteers and 2 staff helped 117 people across the most vulnerable areas of the Borough of West Cheshire to ‘Save Money and Keep Warm’. The volunteers were crucial in bringing about change. Richard Littler, a member of the team, visited one householder and proved to her that she had a water leak by comparing her own meter readings and comparing these with his own meter readings. The householder believed him both because he was a local resident and knew what he was talking about. The leak was found and her bill is shrinking from £340 to £150 a year as a result. Richard is now one of the panel advising Dee Valley Water on their next five year plan. For others it was giving water advice, installing Dee Valley Water’s waster saving devices or encouraging switching to water meters.

  1. Farming and Horticulture, sponsored by Kettle Chips

Projects that improve water efficiency in the commercial farming and horticulture sectors; projects that go beyond irrigation efficiency to, for example, consider water-smart crop selection, water footprinting or local water environmental improvements will be given a higher score

Lowaters Nursery – Rainwater Harvesting Rising costs of water as well as predictions of future availability prompted Lowaters Nursery to become water self-sufficient. Mains water is no longer necessary to irrigate its plants.

This horticultural water storage and efficiency project was achieved through a 7 million litre reservoir, rainwater capture, clean water storage and pumping system. In addition, ‘evaposensor’ technology, which enables the exact amount of water to be applied at the right time, was trialled in propagation and later rolled out for saleable plants as well – this technology generally results in water savings of 40-50%.

In addition to these changes, Lowaters Nursery worked with staff to develop a better understanding of plant water requirements. The team is now focused on water and reacts faster to seasonal and immediate weather patterns, ensuring plants get only the water they need.

BEST OUTCOME: We no longer need mains water to irrigate our plants

ADVICE: The support from other businesses is overwhelming; everyone I visited shared all their experiences.

Charles Carr, Nursery Director

Lowaters Nursery

Hook Lane, warsash, southampton, Hampshire, so212lg

01489 582 584

07843 347 800

charlesc@gardenbeauty.co.uk

Garden Beauty reduces mains water for irrigation from 17000m3 a year to zero in a year!

Our aim was to replace the reliance of the nursery on mains water by installing a rainwater harvesting system. Capturing the rain that fell on our greenhouse roofs then storing it for irrigation. We wanted an environmentally friendly system that was also financially viable.

The only mains water used on the main site is drinking water for staff. Irrigation and toilet flushing is done using reservoir water “from 17,000m3 a year to zero in a year“. 

Water Capture and Storage

We constructed a 7 m litre reservoir, rainwater capture system, clean water storage and pumping (part funded by a grant from SEEDA).  The system comprises 2 catchment ponds, the main reservoir and a clean water tank to supply clean water to our plants.

Reduced water Application

We used the existing irrigation system on the nursery, cutting it off from the mains and reconnecting to an energy efficient variable speed pump. Our next step has been installing solar panels to power the pumps.

We worked with the water researcher Chris Burgess trialling ‘Evaposensors’ in propagation, we now use them for our saleable plants as well.  Trusting modern technology to apply exact the amounts of water at the right time has enabled us to reduce water and grow tougher plants better suited to gardens.

Biological Water Cleaning

Using oxygenation, gravel beds and an engineered wetland to remove pathogens naturally from water prevents the need for using chemical’s such as chlorine to clean water.  This is in keeping with our environmental values.

We have seen improved crop quality and using the reservoir water, a reduction in disease which may be a result of the presence of beneficial micro flora within the irrigation water.

Staff Training

We have worked with staff to develop a better understanding of plant water requirements. The team is focused on water and reacts faster to seasonal and immediate weather patterns ensuring get only the water they need.  

Our reservoir is a finite quantity of water and we can show everyone how much there is and the need for care until the winter rains arrive.

Promoting Water Conservation

During the project we consulted within the industry. Visiting nurseries to see how our innovative industry deals with water recycling. Working with John Adlam from Dove associates and Francis Richardson from Flowering Plants Ltd. both water specialists. They directed us to exemplars of good practice and helped us installing our own systems.

We have worked to promote responsible water use in horticulture  through a  SEEDA water champion role, the report can be downloaded at (http://www.gardenbeauty.co.uk/SEEDA-water-report.pdf).  We held an open day on the nursery in association with Southern Water, with speakers from the EA, scientists and practitioners looking at the case studies and what we implemented at Lowaters.

The Future

The reservoir and rainwater harvesting system has a 25 year lifespan and during this period we hope to improve water capture and extend the pipe work to feed one of our other sites.  The reservoir will continue to provide all the nurseries water taking into account the increased rainwater capture and usage if we extend the site to take advantage of planning permission for a further 20,000m2 of glass.

“This has proved an excellent investment for the business delivering environmental benefits and making sound financial sense. I still can’t quite believe that we are now only using no mains water for irrigation on this site. We think that after our SEEDA grant the system will pay for itself in 3 to 4 years that’s a great return. It is also encouraging to see a natural system being used to clean the water rather than a chemical system which would have been the easy choice.” (Ian Ashton – Managing Director)

East Malling Research and South East Water – Improving water use efficiency and fruit quality in field grown strawberries Research into reducing water and fertiliser use on growing strawberries across the UK has shown some encouraging results in trials and the research is now being rolled out across further real-life trial sites. The new methodology for irrigating strawberries has shown water savings of around 30% can be achieved. When this has been trialled at some strawberry grower sites, savings of around 20% have been seen. The strawberries also appear to have a better quality, taste and a slightly longer shelf life than those grown using standard techniques.

The new technique uses technology to determine when the plants need watering and for how long, rather than the grower ‘feeling’ the soil to judge for themselves if it is wet enough. This can save a lot of precious water and also fertiliser, which in turn saves the grower a lot of money.

BEST OUTCOME A new technique to help strawberry and other fruit growers to save water and reduce fertiliser use, which in turn saves them money.

ADVICE Educating the growers is so important – simple changes could see them save money and improve their yields.

Name: Gemma Avory

Telephone: 01634 873215

Email: Gemma.avory@southeastwater.co.uk

Irrigation is essential to ensure that soft fruit quality at market date matches the specifications demanded by retailers and consumers. Soft fruit cropped areas have increased by 22% in the last 10 years with UK production now worth an estimated £391 m. This rapid expansion has led to a sustained increase in the demand for irrigation. However, the major soft fruit growing areas in England are in the south east, east and west midlands where public, industrial and agricultural demands on water supplies are already high. A new approach to irrigation scheduling is needed to improve the environmental sustainability of UK soft fruit production.

An innovative irrigation strategy was developed in scientific trials at East Malling Research (EMR) in which water savings of 80% were achieved compared to current industry ‘best practice’. A new Grower Test Regime (GTR) was tested in commercial trials on growers’ farms. In 2010, water savings of 36% were achieved with the GTR and improvements in berry eating quality (firmness and flavour) were also noted, compared to the commercial regime. The GTR was tested in 2011 on four grower sites and water savings of between 3 and 21% were achieved and fertiliser savings of between 3 and 19% were also delivered. Yields of class 1 fruit were increased under the GTR by 5-15% and berry flavour, assessed by professional taste panels, was also improved under the GTR.  

Dr Mark Else, Senior Research Leader in the Resource Efficiency for Crop Production science programme at EMR, said: “It is a balancing act to use water and fertilisers more efficiently on farms while continuing to deliver high yields of Class 1 fruit with good flavour and shelf-life.

“We now need to demonstrate the success of this research to the industry and that is why it is important to have the trial sites closely monitored so we can prove that this technology will not only save valuable water and expensive fertilisers but also increase profitability and improve environmental sustainability.”

South East Water’s sponsorship has provided the irrigation monitoring system technology packages to continue this work on commercial trial sites to help improve the efficiency of water and fertiliser use in the soft fruit industry. The package includes soil moisture sensing probes and data loggers with telemetry so that data can be accessed remotely and in real-time. Lee Dance, Head of Water Resources and Environmental at South East Water said: “There is a real need in commercial horticulture to encourage the adoption of new production methods that use less water. By carefully monitoring the success of this new irrigation technique, fruit growers will be given documented evidence as to why they should adopt the new water-saving technologies.”

  1. Innovation, sponsored by Water Security Knowledge Exchange Programme

Projects that develop, test or trial a new idea, such as an innovative approach to engaging households or a new product; projects must demonstrate that the new idea, if rolled out across the UK, would save millions of litres of freshwater a day

National Trust (Wales) – Fit for the Future The National Trust Fit for the Future programme integrates environmental management systems into the daily operation of all Wales properties. This has enabled property staff and volunteers to understand our baseline water consumption, set stretching efficiency targets, and better understand and manage our land and buildings operations in a sustainable and exemplary manner.

Our primary function is to engender a cultural shift and the sharing of best practice through highlighting and illustrating a feature and benefit approach. Environmental management and the heritage sector is an emerging field.

BEST OUTCOME This programme has released significant resources which now contribute to our conservation work 

ADVICE Communication is key. Staff and volunteers have fantastic ideas; all you need do is listen.

Name: Paul Southall

Telephone: 01492 863425 / 07717 868458

Email: Paul.Southall@nationaltrust.org.uk

The ‘Fit for the Future’ approach has been to dispel the myth that “old buildings are hard to treat”. 

A baseline systematic evaluation of over 240 buildings under the direct control identified opportunities. A programme of incorporating 21 AMR smart meters, and 19 in-line water meters ensured all usage could be monitored not only to ensure accurate billing charges, but to allow tracking of efficiency measures installed at properties in order that business case investment calculations could be made.

Simple yet powerful measures were taken. For example, at Bodnant garden we incorporated simple cistern devices, which saved over 150,000L in a year. At other properties we simply screwed -in the ball cock float screw by 4cm, resulting in 1L saving per flush.

Over the last 18 months we have used flow monitoring data we have gathered to prioritise properties where flow valve and urinal controls can be incorporated. The urinal controllers and flow restrictors incorporated at Plas Newydd produced water savings of 4600 m3, financial savings well above £5000, for a capital investment of £450.

Now, thanks to ‘Fit for the Future’ rainwater harvesting takes place at all garden properties –from simple downspout collection, to large scale water storage tanks. e.g: Powis castle utilises the original rainwater harvesting features of the orangery to water plants, as well as collecting water from the roofs of their Victorian greenhouses to fill plunge tanks.

To support these measures a framework was developed for gardeners to improve the sustainability of operations. This is known as ‘Environmental Standard for Gardens and Parks’.

There are also exemplar composting toilet facilities at Craflwyn Hall – the water for the toilet wash hand  basin and aerated showers (none needed for the toilets) is harvested from a nearby mountain stream. In the design phase the team looked at how to treat the water. UV treatment is the default but this would add greatly to the buildings energy budget and so ceramic filters were chosen. These don’t need any energy and filter out all pathogens. 

We are working to promote community use of our properties and land. These works involve engaging volunteers with the water-saving projects, for example upskilling to carry out environmental audits of holiday rental properties. Existing businesses supported through detailed survey work, incorporating efficiency equipment, ongoing maintenance.

Carried out a comprehensive training programme of workshops and events based on the feedback from internal and external stakeholders. Training is provided by a mixture of internal specific workshops focusing on opportunities and requirements; as well as external specialists who provide technical training. An example of this is the All-Wales reedbed training workshops for property staff and building surveyor consultants. This training focussed on design specification as well as the installation and statutory processes. We now currently have 6 reedbeds in operation following this training.

Purpose of the National Trust to preserve cultural and natural heritage. Money saved through water efficiency can be diverted to furthering this conservation work. The National Trust is in a fairly unique position in being able to share based on sound practical experience. The feedback from our ‘clients’ has been that there is such a lack of advice and sharing on a practical day to day basis from operators who have, and do practice across a broad front.

Southern Water – Universal Metering Programme 

Historically, water bills are calculated using a formula which depends upon the rateable values of properties. It therefore doesn’t matter how much water you use, your bill is unaffected.This makes some customers profligate in their water use, tending to keep the tap running while brushing their teeth, for example.

They only consider water efficiency when meters are installed as only then are they charged per unit used. Southern Water is mid-way through a five-year metering programme which will see nearly all of its customers provided with a meter – the first water company in the UK to do so – helping the region cut its water usage by millions of litres of water a day.

In implementing this unique programme which offers unrivalled water efficiency and customer benefits, the company has introduced a number of UK and world-first innovations – from reducing leaks (one of the industry’s most sensitive issues) to ridding customers of the cursed estimated bill.

BEST OUTCOME Already saving 15 m litres of water a day midway through a five-year programme expected to save double that amount

ADVICE Expert research and clear communication are essential to pioneer a ground-breaking model and get it right at first attempt. 

Mike James

Special Projects Manager

Southern Water

Southern House, Yeoman Road, Worthing, West Sussex, BN13 3NX

01903 272448

07742 794146

Mike.james@southernwater.co.uk

Two years ago automatic meter reading, automatic leak detection and even universal metering were new concepts for the UK water industry. But that’s not the case today in the South and South East where Southern Water is introducing the most advanced drive-by metering system in the world.

Nowhere else in the UK is there a meter in use which offers automatic leak detection. Indeed, no other water company has such a widescale metering programme – not just in the UK but anywhere in the world. Southern Water realised that a technologically advanced drive-by meter was vital to the densely-populated, dry region and has developed the technology accordingly to bring to the market a unique metering package, supported by an extensive customer journey which explains and encourages savings and offers expert financial help to those who need it.

Identifying leaks and reporting exactly when they have occurred not only leads to water savings but also means that accurate refunds are paid – another innovation as no other UK water company has a meter which can offer this facility.

A customer portal is also been created so that customers can view on the Internet their precise consumption and better manage their water usage – that’s innovative and will lead to water savings.

In another first, Southern Water is combining Sat-Nav technology with the new meter to automatically direct drivers to meters via the shortest routes. An amazing 20,000 reads a day have been recorded in tests. It is thought that no other company approaches anywhere near 1,000 automatic reads a day.

For the future, without upgrading the meter, a data collection aerial can be fitted to buildings so that meter readings for the entire area can be collected via the Internet at Southern Water’s Head Office – without even the need for a meter reader to visit the area – another innovative first.

Meters lead to a drop in demand for water because customers become more diligent about their consumption when being charged for every unit of water used. Southern’s five-year metering programme, which will see nearly all properties in the water-stressed region provided with a meter, is expected to save 30m litres of water a day – enough to meet the needs of a city the size of Southampton. For example, printing the information literature for metering customers on 100% recycled paper has saved over 1,100kg of carbon dioxide  enough wood to make 70,000 cricket bats, enough electricity to power 28 houses for a year and enough water to fill 18,000 baths.

A major outcome is that estimated bills one of the main sources of customer complaints in the utility industry are set to become complaints of the past as the practice is eliminated by universal metering.

  1. Landscape and Gardening, sponsored by Hozelock

Projects that demonstrate good practice in water-efficient gardening and landscaping, including use of water efficiency technologies and methods

Anglian Water – The Potting Shed The Potting Shed is a unique garden water-saving initiative developed for Anglian Water’s customers and employees and was designed and delivered in 8 weeks. The aim is to change customer behaviour towards water use in the garden and educate them on how they can achieve beautiful gardens while being water efficient. The kit can be posted to customers and contains water storing crystals, water retaining mats, garden watering tips and a pocket guide to drought tolerant plants, produced in collaboration with The Royal Horticultural Society. In total over 30,000 garden kits have been distributed culminating in the winning of Anglian Water’s ‘We Love What you Do’ Managing Director’s Award.

BEST THING: Customers enthusiasm and increasing our outdoor water savings

ADVICE: Including products that complement the seasons creates a kit that works year-round.

IMAGES TO FOLLOW

Name: Linda Berkshire

Telephone: 01480 323813

Email: lberkshire@anglianwater.co.uk

The Potting Shed is a unique garden water-saving initiative that can be posted free of charge to Anglian Water’s customers and employees. The aim is to change water use behaviours in the garden, in what is recognised as one of the driest regions in the UK. This can help customers achieve beautiful gardens while being water efficient. This was particularly prudent during the drought and hosepipe restrictions experienced during spring 2012.  

The kit contains water storing crystals, water retaining mats, garden watering tips and a pocket guide to drought tolerant plants which was produced in collaboration with The Royal Horticultural Society.  

So far, 30,000 Potting Shed kits have been requested and sent to customers in the Anglian Water region and 5,000 water butts have been won by customers. Anglian Water believe this project has achieved direct water savings of approximately 150,000 litres per day. Indirect savings may also result from having to abstract less water. Furthermore, customer’s behaviour change is likely to extend from the garden into other areas where they can save water.

The Potting Shed gardening kit was launched with B&Q at their store in Northampton, where Anglian Water employees demonstrated how to use the contents of the kit using drought tolerant plants. During the launch they distributed around 3,000 kits. Anglian Water have also promoted the Potting Shed by creating a web page with the Wildlife Trust that advises customers how to look after the animals and birds in their garden, helping the environment during drought conditions. Anglian Water believes that by providing products and expert advice to help customers cope during the drought they can also encourage them to trial new products and increase the likelihood of purchase and uptake resulting in greater water savings. In addition, a special selection of plants has been made available to customers on their Potting Shed online plant shop. 

Feedback from customers has been very positive showing that over 76% have used the products and comments include “the crystals are great, water mats too, they really work” and “Great, thank you. Used in my hanging basket and plant pots and also bought another pack of crystals – brilliant for my tomato plants too”.

Garden Kits are readily available and accessible to all of Anglian Water customers. They can be ordered online or requested by phone and are available at their visitor centres, events and shows (e.g. the Lincolnshire Eco Show and the Suffolk Sustainable Show for Schools) and provided for school drought gardens through their education programme. The Potting Shed pages on the website are updated regularly and include monthly tips and information on inspirational gardens to visit and enjoy in the region. Anglian Water encourages customers to join their ‘garden club’ ensuring continued interest and participation. Customers have provided their email addresses so updates can be sent throughout the year 

The intention is to use the Potting Shed as a platform for greater engagement with customers and to continually refresh the contents of the garden kit to include items that complement the seasons. Anglian Water recognises that customer’s feedback is crucial in the development of products and ideas and from this they have developed a seven month post-launch plan. This includes adding products such as ‘watersticks’ (which tell customers when their plants need water) and seeds for drought tolerant herbs ensuring that the success of the Potting Shed and free garden kit continues ready for next spring and beyond.

DMRC Headley Court and Sutton and East Surrey Water – Headley Walled Garden Project

Headley Walled Garden Project uses horticulture as part of the rehabilitation for injured soldiers being treated at DMRC Headley Court. The project started in Apr 2011 with the development of a greenhouse and vegetable garden. By May 2012 the building of the Headley Test Track had been completed. The Test Track, vegetable garden and greenhouse, seeks to harness the psychological benefit of being outdoors. The project uses meaningful activity to improve concentration, memory and to improve physical function.  

As they developed the project they partnered with Sutton and East Surrey Water drawing on their construction expertise, but also gaining advice as to how to could conserve water resources.

BEST OUTCOME: Community partnership developing meaningful rehabilitation and spreading the message of conservation.

ADVICE: Commanders agreement is essential, and then project momentum must be maintained. Momentum attracts interest and participation.

Photos:

2920127.bmp: Gdsm Manneh (Irish Guards) and Alison Bellis (Occupational Therapist)

Marine Tristan Sykes 0069.jpg:  Mne Sykes (Royal Marines)

Private Scott Meenagh 0088.jpg:  Pte Meenagh (2 Para)

Major Peter Le Feuvre Physiotherapy Clinical Lead, Complex Trauma DMRC Headley Court DMRC Headley Court, Epsom, Surrey KT18 6JW 01372378271 Ext 7542 07956 446829 dmrc-ctphysio4@mod.uk

Headley Walled Garden Project uses horticulture as part of the rehabilitation for injured soldiers. The new ‘Test Track’ which was recently completed at DMRC Headley Court, is a concept clinical space set within a garden. It provides an outdoor area where prosthetic skills can be taught and practiced, using meaningful activity to improve concentration, memory and to improve physical function. This together with the vegetable garden and greenhouse provides a natural setting with real life challenges set in a safe and structured environment.  

“Many of the injuries we see are highly complex. Rehabilitation at Headley Court involves activities relevant and real to everyday life,” said Maj LeFeuvre, Physiotherapy Clinical Lead, Complex Trauma, at the centre. “Cognitive processing, memory, physical skills such as mobility, strength and endurance, or the fine motor skills of the hand are skills which are critical enabling an individual to live an independent life. The garden is one medium where these diverse skills can be trained and tested.”

A team from Sutton and East Surrey Water plc partnered with the therapy team to use their construction skills to build the Test Track. During the partnership they introduced the idea of water conservation to therapy staff. It sparked a wider consideration of how natural resources should be managed within the project. The partnership developed a drive to research planting choice, use of materials and design of watering systems all with the aim of conservation in mind.  

Commenting on the project, Anthony Ferrar, Sutton and East Surrey Water’s managing director said: “Our staff are proud to have been involved in creating this innovative rehabilitation project, and appreciate all the work carried out at Headley Court in helping seriously injured military personnel to return to independent living.”

Group Captain Walton, the Commanding Officer at Headley Court said:  “We have greatly valued the support shown to Headley Court by Sutton and East Surrey Water. This project has enabled us to expand how we provide rehabilitation and ensure it remains relevant to the individual and real to life. The process involved in developing the project has provided us with the opportunity to forge new links within our community.”

  1. Research and Evaluation, sponsored by Ofwat

Projects that seek to solve water efficiency challenges and/or better understand the value of water efficiency interventions; projects will be given higher scores if peer reviewed and/or if efforts to implement results are demonstrated

Wessex Water – Wessex Water Tariff Trial Wessex Water’s tariff trial project has taken away much of the uncertainty around how much less water people use when they are metered and the impact on their water use of different charging structures.

The study, carried out between 2008 and 2012, found out:

  • how much less water people used in a metered household following a house move
  • whether these savings vary depending on the type of tariff applied
  • customers’ feelings about the meter, the tariff – and the company imposing them!
  • the changes in behaviour that caused the changes in water use.

In the process the company was also able to test the use of smarter water meters and in home displays for customers. The scope and academic rigour of the approach taken has added greatly to the industry’s understanding of metering and tariffs.

BEST OUTCOME Metering customers following a house move results in wiser water use, lower bills and happy customers

ADVICE Be clear on your research objectives, design to achieve them, and analyse the results dispassionately.

PHOTOS

Photo 1 (Billing)
Customers were able to speak to customer service staff if they had any questions about their bill or wanted more information about saving water

Photo 2 (Smart metering)
Customers were asked whether they wanted to have an in-house display installed.

Photo 3 (Sustainable cover)
Wessex Water produced an interim report to share its findings with the industry.  

Name:  Luke de Vial

Telephone: 01225 526347

Email: luke.devial@wessexwater.co.uk

The tariff trial study has shown that the right time to meter customers is when they move home. However customers need to know that this is going to happen and that it applies to everyone – not just them.

 When they move home customers tend to incorporate the new water charges as one part of much wider changes to their household budget, and as most water use behaviour is driven by habit, the new house gives them a good opportunity to change those habits and become more water efficient.

Fitting a meter to a property when the occupier changes reduces customer water use on average by 15% and during the summer this increases up to approximately 25%.

Substantial savings in water consumption are made at all income levels, and analysis of the detailed flow data shows that  metering results in far more care being taken over water use. This chimes with what customers told Wessex Water through the trial. One customer from Dorchester explained: “I check that taps are not dripping – making sure they are off properly. That didn’t bother me before.”

Another from Poole said: “The meter makes you less likely to abuse water….as you’re paying you’re more conscious of everything like you are with switching the lights and TV off.”

Simple seasonal tariffs showed benefits by:

encouraging a further change in water conserving behaviour from some customers, on average a further 6%, and

having a positive effect on the affordability of charges compared to both flat-rate and rising block tariffs.

A customer from Taunton said:  “It encouraged me to get water butts – the tariff reminded me.”   

But Wessex Water found that the application of seasonal tariffs resulted in a lower level of customer satisfaction, most customers considered that seasonal tariffs were not fair and were cynical about motives. One customer from Chippenham remarked: “So washing my kids in the summer is more expensive in the summer?” And another said: “I’m not sure of the rationale. We have some very wet summers and they [Wessex Water] get the benefit of the higher rate.”   

Wessex knows that its charges must retain the support and trust of billpayers and so has no plans to widen the use of seasonal tariffs on a compulsory basis in the Wessex Water region. Instead it is exploring other ways in which those on the lowest incomes can be protected.

Through the trial it has also become clear how little customers know about their own water use, the cost of water, and what might be considered to be efficient use. Wessex Water will be aiming to address these gaps in further trials that make greater use of the latest technology. A more detailed summary of the project findings has been published, as well as some of the detailed statistical information. The ‘Towards sustainable charging’ report is available www.wessexwater.co.uk/ourvision.

Southern Water  – Customer Research for the Universal Metering Programme Under a 5 year programme, Southern Water is installing more than 500,000 water meters by 2015 as part of its long-term plans to secure water resources for customers across the South East of England, a region which has been officially classed as ‘water stressed’. 

The company commissioned customer research before beginning the programme to help it make the move to universal metering as smooth as possible for households, including how best to promote how customers could save water, energy and money.  

The research included customer segmentation to help Southern Water understand what different groups of customers feel about water use and metering. This enabled it to tailor a ‘customer journey’ for a variety of types of customer.

BEST OUTCOME This research has helped achieve a very positive response from customers to the metering programme.

ADVICE Ask customers what they think, listen to their views, learn from those views, and use them to positively shape your actions.

Joel Hufford

PR Manager (Metering)

Southern Water

Southern House, Lewes Road, Falmer, East Sussex, BN1 1PY

07557 152393

07557 152 393

Joel.hufford@southernwater.co.uk

Southern Water’s research had two broad aims

  • To understand what customers think about universal metering, both what they like about it and what concerns them. The findings were then used to shape an integrated communications campaign, including a clear ‘customer journey’, tailored to different customer types, which is leading the company’s metering programme.
  • To understand how best to design transitional measures to support customers, particularly those likely to see their water bills rise after moving to metered charges. The findings then shaped measures including tariffs to give customers time to adapt to metered charges and ensure bills remain affordable for everyone, and providing customers with free water saving devices and detailed advice and support on saving water, energy and money.

The customer research played a central role in shaping key aspects of the metering programme, in particular, the development of a communications campaign / customer journey for customers having a meter installed.

This has resulted in a very positive response from customers. Only 10% of customers are contacting Southern Water with a query, compared with an expected rate, before the programme began, of 70%. Furthermore, the vast majority of this contact (90%) is ‘wanted’, for example, a customer requesting to opt onto metered charges early, or take up one of the special metered tariffs. 

While there was some support for the programme expressed during the customer research, customers also strongly expressed their fear, anger, and annoyance about universal metering. The positive response the programme has received therefore seems to reflect a very positive shift in attitudes.

Outputs from the research:

  • Southern Water has a set of tried and tested messages to use in its communications around the metering programme which it knows customers understand and respond positively to
  • The company has an insight into its customers’ views about key metering issues, such as different tariffs. It plans to build on these insights in the coming months when further developing its approach.  
  • Southern Water’s ongoing programme of customer research (eg for the forthcoming water price review in 2014) builds on the strengths of the universal metering programme research ie it is robust, inclusive, and transparent, with a strong link between research and action.  

PHOTOS

Meters 26 Connors OR UMP Crawley 14 Connors  – ‘Southern Water is installing 500,000 ‘intelligent’ water meters by 2015 to help secure water resources across the South East of England’

Meters Horsham 12 Connors OR 084 – ‘Southern Water is providing face to face support and advice to customers on saving water, energy and money’

Flush 9 Connors – ‘Under its metering programme, Southern Water is providing free water and energy saving products to customers’

Save water..Campaign logo – ‘The ‘save water, save energy, save money’ brand has been developed to support Southern Water’s metering programme’ 

  1. Exemplar Project in Northern Ireland, backed by The Consumer Council

Northern Ireland Water – Westland Rainwater Harvesting NI Water is currently rationalising its office accommodation; to date three city centre offices have closed and approximately 350 staff have been relocated. To facilitate this, an extensive construction programme is taking place to provide suitable, modern accommodation within the existing NI Water estate. A recent project was the conversion of a storage shed into office accommodation for 100 staff, which was completed in January 2012.

The project has many water efficiency elements within it, the primary element is a rainwater harvesting system. This comprises a 12,000 litre underground storage tank collecting rainwater from the building’s roof, which is then pumped back into a header tank within the refurbished building where it is then used for flushing purposes.

BEST OUTCOME Real savings being made and an example project to show others.

ADVICE: Act on water saving opportunities where they present themselves.

Alan Crilly

Clean Water Asset Strategy Manager

Northern Ireland Water

Asset Management

Westland House

Old Westland Road

Belfast

BT14 6TE

02890 354813 ex 20774

07917 357455

alan.crilly@niwater.com

As part of NI Water’s on-going efficiency drive there is a programme of office accommodation rationalisation, through this, since September 2010, there has been the closure of three city centre offices and approximately 350 staff have been being relocated. This has driven an extensive construction programme to provide suitable, modern accommodation within the existing NI Water estate. The majority of staff have been have been relocated to the Westland Complex in North Belfast. To facilitate the influx of staff a number of existing old stores, workshops and garage buildings have been refurbished. With the most recent of these being the conversion of a 600 m² storage shed into office accommodation for 100 staff, this was completed in January 2012.

The Westland Rainwater Harvesting project had many water efficiency elements within it, the primary element was the inclusion of a rainwater harvesting system. The system consists of a 12,000 litre underground storage tank which collects rainwater gathered from the building’s roof, which is then pumped back into a header tank in the roof space of refurbished building. The water collected is used for flushing purposes.

The main benefit from the installation of the rainwater collection system is the reduction in the volume of potable water required to service the building. Although quantifying the savings gained is difficult, given that water consumption when the building was used as a store was small. However, consumption of potable water within the refurbished building is still well below the average for office accommodation of this size and occupancy levels and it is estimated that approximately 6,000 litres a week are currently being supplied from the collection system and NI Water are currently monitoring the success of the installation as part of the post contract review.

The rainwater collection system was proposed and ‘championed’ by NI Water staff and is the project is the first of its kind within an NI Water building refurbishment. The project is being used to highlight the benefits of water conservation to all staff and is setting the path for future building refurbishment within the NI Water stock. The project is now a focal point within the organisation used to highlight the water efficiency message, which is now looked at as part of all refurbishment designs. 

It is recognised that NI Water needs to lead by example in water efficiency, significant efforts have been made to reduce wastage in treatment processes and network losses. Increasing the water efficiency of it building stock is seen as the next step and an opportunity to positively influence many of our customers and stakeholders. Any water saving initiative that NI Water can highlight within its own organisation is an important factor in our public awareness campaign to save water wherever possible. Our message to the public is that ‘water is precious’ and examples such as the ‘Westland Rainwater Harvesting’ project can only assist in getting the message across and leading by example. The provision of a rainwater collection system at Westland has been promoted to staff through awareness briefings and is highlighted within the building itself for the benefit of everyday and occasional users. The system will also be used as a practical example to raise public awareness of the importance to save/recycle water wherever possible.

The symbolism of NI Water pursuing water efficiency at a site adjacent to one of its largest service reservoirs (49,500,000 litres) is a powerful tool.

Pulse Eco Shower – IPulse Pulse Eco Shower together with the Questor Research Centre at Queens University Belfast and Campbell Engineering Belfast, set out to solve two problems associated with traditional restricted or aerated eco shower heads.

First, bacteria and limescale build-up in and under the small holes in the traditional spray plate. Second there are environmental issues surrounding the large number of components found in market-leading shower heads.

Both these problems were solved with ‘Pulse Tech’, a revolutionary cylindrical insert which fits into the face of the new IPulse shower heads.

The Pulse Eco Shower can now offer maintenance-free easy to clean solution to the hygiene/limescale problem while offering a huge reduction in component parts, waste and the associated negative environmental impact.

BEST OUTCOME To manufacture in the UK environmentally-friendly 2-piece water saving shower heads with global application.

ADVICE Stick with your environmental goals and never give up

CHRISTIE ALLEN
Managing Director / Partner
Pulse Eco Shower
BT47 3SR
02033569769
07748786320
callen@pulseecoshower.com

The aim in this project was to create a water-saving shower head that would offer unique environmental and hygiene benefits and still be a highly desirable product through excellent performance. IPulse showers dramatically reduced water output and energy consumption but still maintained the pressure, temperature and comfort of traditional showers.

Environmental Benefits

A simplified manufacturing process decreased environmental impact. The first generation of Pulse Eco Shower heads required a 14-piece tooling mould; the current (2nd) generation reduced the equipment to an 8-piece production process and the new generation IPulse reduced this to an incredible 2-piece process. In comparison market leading competitors have up to 20-pieces in their production process. By reducing this so dramatically, they achieved significant green objectives by minimising the impact the manufacturing process has on the environment. 

Furthermore, thanks to the reduction in costs that this improvement creates, they are now moving their production to the UK. Not only will this allow them to reduce the environmental impact of transportation, it will be of benefit to the UK manufacturing industry as a whole, creating job opportunities and helping to promote the financial benefits of businesses adopting green objectives. 

Hygiene Benefits 

By removing the traditional spray plate, their engineers removed a problem area where limescale can build up and bacteria flourish. Bacterial cultures require certain conditions to flourish and they need to anchor to a suitable surface. The design of all traditional shower heads means they will usually have a film of water, rubber material or recesses where this can occur. As a result, layers of deposited material, which provide nutrients for bacteria, build up in areas that are aerated and moist. Bacteria can thrive in such pockets and as limescale accumulates, clogging the holes in the spray plate, the efficiency of the shower will also be affected.

The IPulse project was specially designed to rethink these problem areas. Having removed the spray plate, there was only one point where bacteria could grow, which is a fraction of the surface area of other traditional and eco showers. Microbial growth is therefore significantly reduced. The build-up of limescale to the extent that clogging occurs is simply not possible, ensuring Pulse Eco Showers are more hygienic, efficient showers that do not require the same levels of maintenance.

Testing carried out by the QUESTOR Research Centre in Queen’s University Belfast, verified the claims. QUESTOR’s conclusions, dated 23 January 2012, stated:

 “The QUESTOR Centre carried out work on behalf of Pulse Eco Shower comparing their product to shower heads that delivered the water through multiple small holes. These shower heads are referred to in this summary as Shower Head B.

On limescale:

The increase in concentration [of limescale] with Shower Head B was approximately 238 times higher than that observed with the Pure Pulse Shower.

On bacteria:

At a magnification of 10000 x, two bacterial cells were observed with the sample taken from a Pulse eco Shower and 27 cells were observed with the sample taken from Shower Head B, ie 13.5 times more bacteria in Shower head B than the Pure Pulse Shower head. This result implies that bacteria are significantly less likely to colonise a Pure Pulse Shower than their competitors.”

“Our results suggest that Pure Pulse technology has significant hygiene advantages in comparison to shower heads using traditional spray plate delivery systems” 

                                                    Dr Elaine Groom  Microbiologist & General Manager, Questor

  1. Exemplar Project in Scotland, backed by Consumer Focus Scotland

SYHA Hostelling Scotland – Loch Ossian Eco Hostel The £130,000 refurbishment of Loch Ossian Youth Hostel in 2003 strove not only to update the building structure but also to transform the hostel into arguably the most eco-friendly accommodation in the UK. Taking into consideration the direct and indirect impact of every hostel resident on the local environment while at the same time not compromising on the level of quality or comfort entitled to those residents, the end project is a sustainable business model serving hostel guests throughout the year. Many guests leave a little more aware of their individual and collective impacts on the environment and what systems can be employed to offset this with a specific focus on water and electricity production and consumption.

BEST OUTCOME We now have our own private water supply powered by renewable energy. 

ADVICE: Keep focused on your objectives.

Jan Robinson

Hostel Manager, Loch Ossian Youth Hostel

SYHA Hostelling Scotland

7 Glebe Crescent, Stirling, FK8 2JA

01786 891400

Loch.ossian@syha.org.uk

The £130,000 refurbishment of Loch Ossian Youth Hostel in 2003 not only updated the building structure, it transformed the hostel into arguably the most eco-friendly accommodation in the UK. 

Taking into consideration the direct and indirect impact of every hostel resident on the local environment while at the same time not compromising quality or comfort, the end project is a sustainable business model serving hostel guests throughout the year. 

Many guests leave a little more aware of their individual and collective impacts on the environment and what systems can be employed to offset this with a specific focus on water and electricity production and consumption. 

The Loch Ossian Youth Hostel now utilises and maintains its own private water supply powered by renewable wind energy which is harvested on site. 

The hostel also maintains a particle and ultraviolet light filtration system which ensures that this water is of as safe a quality as that which members of the public are accustomed to at home. Waste water from cooking and washing is then put through grey water sand and gravel filtration, the final stage of which is a flourishing natural reed bed. 

Waste water from our dry toilet systems is then largely evaporated via a photovoltaic solar-powered fan. Any excess is removed manually and processed through the same grey water system as detailed. These processes take fully into account the fragile local environment and as well as maintaining them and educating visitors on their working extensive work has been done to support local wildlife through tree planting of local varieties, the use of specialised bat-friendly paint and timber on the hostel building to encourage roosting of local populations. 

Having sighted a wide range of wildlife including recently Osprey and Otters we are happy that the current systems and management of the hostel upholds our commitment to the environment and sustainable tourism.

Élan Hair Design When owners Lorna and Gordon Milton of Élan Hair Design decided to replace traditional lamps with LED lighting they got to thinking how they could turn their well-established hairdressing salon into an eco-friendly salon. From there the project became a £250k refurbishment incorporating almost every conceivable environmentally-friendly element they could find. Everything from shorn locks to Italian furniture, floor tiles and clients’ coffee has been given the green treatment – either made from sustainable sources or recycled. The zero carbon salon furniture includes water-reducing basins which have reduced Élan’s water consumption by 64%.

BEST OUTCOME We have only been operational for just over three months but our water efficiency is being measured.   

ADVICE: Lead by example: our pro-active attitude has encouraged our team and clients to adopt environmental measures at home our procedures in their domestic households.

LORNA MILTON

DIRECTOR

Élan Hair Design 

46 West High Street

Inverurie, Aberdeenshire,Scotland

AB51 3QR

01467 621900

lorna@Élanhair.co.uk

Our main objective was to create as green a salon as possible and the second was to make green exciting. The adopted principles were to create a vibrant, contemporary salon that attracted new, younger clients without alienating existing ones while also incorporating energy saving features.   We placed equal focus on the interior and the eco issues we wanted to explore, which made it a team effort with each of us inspiring each other. Everything from shorn locks to Italian furniture, floor tiles and clients’ coffee has been given the green treatment – either made from sustainable sources or recycled. The zero carbon salon furniture which incorporates water reducing basins has reduced Élan’s water consumption by 64% which in turn reduces water waste. Combs are eco-friendly, our disposable towels and capes biodegradable, even the hair goes for compost to be spread on local farmers’ fields. Solar panels and an air source heat pump provide power.   

“We were looking to do something different,” explained Lorna, one of the directors, “and once we started to talk about the lights it just escalated from that with everything else going down the green route.”

Working with award-winning Scots salon designer, Charlie Hearn, Lorna, Gordon and their two daughters, Lanice 24, and Lauren 22, who are also employed in the business, created the ultra modern premises that are now leading the way in their sector with the following green initiatives:

  • across the board savings of ‘going green’, ie, using less water, heat and power
  • cost benefits of unused energy returned into the National Grid
  • Photovoltaic panels for generating electricity
  • Solar thermal panels providing energy for hot water
  • LED lighting that uses 80% less electricity – and lasts for 10 years
  • Energy-saving motion detectors
  • Basins cutting water consumption by 64%
  • Carbon zero Italian furniture (padded from soya); base made from recycled aluminium, frame made from wood that comes from zero mileage forestry and certified by Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC)
  • Bacteria-resistant floor tiles made from reconstituted materials
  • An air-source heat pump saving 80% on heating costs
  • Energy saving low temperature radiators
  • Biodegradable cleaning cloths and capes
  • Eco-towels made from wood fibres
  • Environmentally friendly combs
  • Environmentally friendly enjo cleaning system that uses cold water
  • All plastic and glass bottles, cans, glass cardboard, carrier bags, newspapers and paper recycled
  • Innovative plant based products by Aveda stocked
  • All Aveda bottles and packaging made from post-consumer recycled materials.

  “I believe it to be the most eco-friendly salon in the UK,” said Charlie Hearn, of Edinburgh-based Campbell Hearn. “Élan Hair Design have been wonderful to work with and have really run with the eco-vision. To find someone who wanted to embrace all of that was a dream.”    

The Élan team has already notched up one national green business award and are waiting to hear on several other nominations.

  1. Exemplar Project in Wales, backed by The Welsh Government

[this is the same as in Innovation category] National Trust (Wales) – Fit for the Future The National Trust Fit for the Future programme integrates environmental management systems into the daily operation of all Wales properties. This has enabled property staff and volunteers to understand our baseline water consumption, set stretching efficiency targets, and better understand and manage our land and buildings operations in a sustainable and exemplary manner.

Our primary function is to engender a cultural shift and the sharing of best practice through highlighting and illustrating a feature and benefit approach. Environmental management and the heritage sector is an emerging field. Application and experience is thin on the ground and we are filling this role.

 Application and experience is thin on the ground and we are filling this role.

The ‘fit for the future’ strategy has been successfully integrated into business as usual in Wales and is constantly developing. 

BEST OUTCOME This programme has released significant resources which now contribute to our conservation work 

ADVICE Communication is key. Staff and volunteers have fantastic ideas; all you need do is listen.

[this Fit for the Future is the same entry as in Innovation category]

Name: Paul Southall

Telephone: 01492 863425 / 07717 868458

Email: Paul.Southall@nationaltrust.org.uk

The “Fit for the Future” approach has been to dispel the myth that “old buildings are hard to treat”. 

A baseline systematic evaluation of over 240 buildings under the direct control identified opportunities.

  • A programme of incorporating 21 AMR “Smart meters”, and 19 in-line water meters ensured all usage could be monitored not only to ensure accurate billing charges; but to allow tracking of efficiency measures installed at properties in order that business case investment calculations could be made.
  • We incorporated simple cistern devices, which at Bodnant garden for example saved over 150,000 litres of water in a year. At other properties we simply “screwed – in” the ball cock float screw by 4cm, resulting in 1 litre saving per flush.
  • Over the last 18 months we have used flow monitoring data we have gathered to prioritise properties where flow valve and urinal controls can be incorporated. The urinal controllers and flow restrictors incorporated at Plas Newydd produced water savings of 4600 m3, financial savings well above £5000, for a capital investment of £450.
  • Rainwater harvesting takes place at all garden properties –from simple downspout collection, to large scale water storage tanks.

e.g: Powis castle utilises the original rainwater harvesting features of the Orangery to water plants. Also collecting water from the roofs of their Victorian greenhouses to fill plunge tanks.

  • Developed framework for gardeners to improve the sustainability of operations –“Environmental Standard for Gardens and Parks”.
  • Exemplar composting toilet facilities at Craflwyn Hall  – The water for the toilet wash hand  basin and aerated showers (none needed for the toilets) is harvested from a nearby mountain stream. In the design phase the team looked at how to treat the water. UV treatment is the default but this would add greatly to the buildings energy budget and so ceramic filters were chosen. These don’t need any energy and filter out all pathogens. (Needs changing and the water is tested).
  • Working to promote community use of our properties and land. Involving volunteers with the water-saving projects, for example upskilling to carry out environmental audits of holiday rental properties. 
  • Existing businesses supported through detailed survey work, incorporating efficiency equipment, ongoing maintenance.
  • Carried out a comprehensive training programme of workshops and events based on the feedback from internal and external stakeholders. Training is provided by a mixture of internal specific workshops focusing on opportunities and requirements; as well as external specialists who provide technical training. An example of this is the All-Wales reed be training workshops for property staff and building surveyor consultants. This training focussed on design specification as well as the installation and statutory processes. We now currently have 6 reedbeds in operation following this training.

Purpose of the National Trust to preserve cultural and natural heritage. Money saved through water efficiency can be diverted to furthering this conservation work. The National Trust is in a fairly unique position in being able to share based on sound practical experience. The feedback from our ‘clients’ has been that there is such a lack of advice and sharing on a practical day to day basis from operators who have, and do practice across a broad front.

Energy Saving Trust, Environment Agency Wales, Dwr Cymru Welsh Water, Aqualogic, Wales and West Housing Association, Valleys To Coast Housing Association – Housing Association Water Efficiency Pilot In 2011, the Energy Saving Trust, Environment Agency Wales, DwrCymru Welsh Water, Aqualogic, Wales and West Housing and Valleys to Coast Housing partnered on the first large-scale water efficiency behaviour change and retrofit pilot in Wales.

Between January and July 2011 the project delivered advice to 180 householders on water use and links to energy use, and also included water efficiency retrofit measures. The project is estimated to save around 1700 cubic metres of water, 12 tonnes of CO2 and £7000 on bills per year. 

BEST OUTCOME: 180 housing association tenants in South Wales received advice and/or a home retrofit on water efficiency.

ADVICE: A partnership approach is key to enabling opportunities for water efficiency projects and programmes.

Alun Attwood Water Resources Strategy Manager Environment Agency Wales Ty Cambria, 29 Newport Road, Cardiff, CF24 0TP 02920466130 07733014685 alun.attwood@environment-agency.gov.uk

Understanding uptake rates

  • Phone appointment 11-7%
  • Letter only <1%
  • Doorknocking 7%
  • Retrofit and behaviour change 27%

Attitudes and knowledge

  • Most people (91%) said that they already made an effort to save water (to be expected for households on a water meter). Slightly more (96%) said they made an effort to save water after they had received an advice visit.
  • There was a significant increase in those saying they gave thought to how much water they use on a daily basis (from 43% to 69% of householders choosing 5-10 on a scale of 0-10). However, over 30% of householders said they still didn’t think a lot about how much water they use, even after 2 advice visits and with a water meter in place.

According to the Water Energy Calculator the average baseline water consumption and energy consumption for hot water amongst households advised was as follows:

  • Average water consumption – 77.9 m3 per household per year (c. 135 litres per person per day)
  • Average metered water cost – £333 per householder per year
  • Average cost of energy used to heat hot water – £138 per year

The Water Energy Calculator identified potential savings amongst the household advised that equated to:

  • An average water saving of 11 m3 per year (or 31 litres/prop/day)
  • A total water saving from actions identified of 1,470 m3 per year
  • An average water bill saving of £34
  • A total water bill savings from actions identified of £4472

This project was initiated by the Energy Saving Trust as part of the EU Life+ RENEW Project. Wales and West Housing Association and Valleys to Coast Housing Association were approached to participate and Environment Agency Wales also provided co-funding to support delivery. Dwr Cymru Welsh Water also provided in-kind support to the project and support from Aqualogic.

Changes in water consumption of householders involved in this project will be explored and compared to a control group during 2012/13.

The Energy Saving Trust and the Environment Agency have already used the lessons learnt from this project to develop a new household advice project – Living-Wise Cardiff. The project is targeting households in the Rhiwbina area of Cardiff and providing information and advice on water, energy and waste. 

The outputs of this project are included in joint EAW and EST guidance on Water and Energy Efficiency for Social Housing linked to the Welsh Housing Quality Standard. This will be published in 2012 and disseminated to social housing providers to improved baseline refurbishment standards and encourage further retrofit programmes. Learning outputs from the different engagement methods will help guide all future water efficiency pilots in Wales.

  1. 12.Environment Agency Chairman’s Award

This year the award seeks to highlight good work being done by water companies to manage water demand; one project, delivered by or with a water company, that best demonstrates good practice in delivering water efficiency initiatives will be selected

Thames Water, in partnership with Waterwise and WWF – Save Water Swindon In 2010 Thames Water, WWF, Waterwise and Swindon Borough Council joined forces to help limit the amount of water taken from Swindon’s local environment by setting up Save Water Swindon. It aimed to reduce water consumption in Swindon by one million litres per day by 2014, to test and monitor the effectiveness of communications through customer research and data analysis, and use findings to form the UK blueprint on how to run effective water efficiency campaigns.

To date the project is estimated to have reduced Swindon’s overall water-use by more than 560,000 litres per day and is on track to reach its ambitious water-saving target.

BEST OUTCOME 15% of Swindon residents have booked home makeovers (2,700) or requested water-saving devices (8,600).

ADVICE Make response channels easy to use. Tear-off freepost letter-coupons encourage the best response rates

Name: David Grantham (Water Efficiency Manager) (Karen Simpson will be away 16-31 Aug incl)

Telephone: 07747 645498

Email: david.grantham@thameswater.co.uk

The ongoing project involves:

  • Encouraging customers in Swindon to request free water-saving self-install products or free home-visits so we can install the products. These measures can reduce household water use by up to 25% (and save on water energy costs too).
  • Customer research to measure awareness and behaviour change, testing the effectiveness of different messages and communications methods, and updating the campaign’s approach to improve success.
  • Monitoring water-usage data and identifying other effective ways to make significant water savings in Swindon, for example, identifying and fixing leaks on council sites using new metering technology.
  • Carrying out customer segmentation research to inform future work.

In June 2010 residents were challenged to reduce their water use by 20 litres per day via a media campaign and through community events. The customer responses were lower than expected at 2%.

In August 2011 the project was re-launched to test a number of communication methods to increase the overall effectiveness, including partnering with the local daily newspaper, the Swindon Advertiser, to produce regular articles and advertorials, as well as running posters at Swindon train station to raise awareness. Direct mailing materials were developed and tested, resulting in a quadrupled response rate of 8%.

A baseline survey of 1,000 people living in Swindon was conducted in August 2011, and repeated in March 2012, to monitor the effectiveness of activities on raising awareness and changing behaviour. The results showed an improvement in awareness of the project, and that residents feel more informed about ways to save water. Customers who consider saving water to be ‘very important’ or ‘fairly important’ went up from 71% to 79%.

The council helps to promote the project to its residents and to organisations within the borough. The council is also trialling the use of Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) technology on its sites to identify leaks. To date more than 195,000 litres per day of wasted water has been identified and fixed. 

The Swindon schools project has targeted five secondary and 20 primary schools, also offering AMR equipment to reduce on-site water wastage, alongside provision of student education sessions. Schools have also been challenged to engage with their local community to promote the free home-visits and products, with the effectiveness of each school’s engagement activities being monitored and rewarded.

As well as the main partners other partners contribute to the steering group, including Lancaster Environment Centre, AEA Technology, Energy Saving Trust, Environment Agency, Ofwat, Climate Energy, Woodnewton Associates and Save Water Save Money.