• Organization suggests as flooding hits, rainwater recycling 'should be compulsory'
LONDON, UK, July 2, 2007 -- Rainwater recycling should be compulsory in all new buildings to help combat climate change and ease the UK's water crisis. Despite all the recent rainfall the UK is short of water: Britain has less water available per person than most European countries.
With Britain awash from serious summer floods, campaigners are highlighting the terrible waste that recent heavy rain will not be recycled to cut down on mains water usage.
Rainwater harvesting systems collect rain to flush toilets and water gardens. They can save up to 50% of mains water usage in the home and up to 80% in commercial/industrial installations. Save the Rain™ is calling on the Government to introduce legislation to make Rainwater Harvesting systems compulsory on all new buildings. The systems collect rain from the roof into an underground storage tank, then pump it for use in toilets, outside taps and sometimes for washing machines.
Rainwater harvesting can also play a vital role as part of flood management by holding back stormwater run-off at the point of falling during periods of heavy rain. As integral part of Sustainable Drainage Solutions (SUDS), rainwater harvesting can be considered as contributing towards discharge control consents for local planning purposes.
"Undeniably, global warming is leading us to experience the extremes of flooding and drought in equal measure. Our memories are short: -- This time last year Britain was in the grips of drought orders and hosepipe bans," says Chris Williams, spokesman for the Save the Rain™ campaign.
"Demand for Britain's water is increasing at a rate of 1% a year, and there is less water available for each UK resident than for many European countries -- even the hottest and driest ones. Our consumption levels are not sustainable and the need to take a long-term view has never been more pressing. Rainwater re-use seems to offer an obvious solution."
"Rainwater harvesting is a simple technology used widely in other countries. We believe if enough homes and buildings had rainwater harvesting, we could dramatically reduce demand on Britain's mains water supplies.
Save the Rain™ campaign is urging people to show their support for the campaign by signing a petition to the Government, available on the organization's website. Save the Rain™ is also campaigning for grants or other financial incentives for homeowners to install rainwater harvesting in existing properties.
Says Chris Williams: "The Government's Code for Sustainable Homes has gone some way to encouraging housebuilders to install rainwater harvesting through the code's 'star rating' system. The code also encourages energy efficiency to reduce our carbon footprint. But the code is only voluntary at present and we believe the Government needs to go one step further to make rainwater harvesting mandatory on all new buildings."
"We also believe that rainwater harvesting will add value to any property in which it is installed," added Chris. In a recent survey conducted by Save the Rain™ in association with British Water, one in three homeowners said they would be more likely to buy a house if it had a rainwater harvesting system already fitted.
Chris Williams is managing director of Hydro International, a manufacturer of rainwater harvesting systems who are sponsors of Save the Rain™: "We have a technology which we know could make a tremendous difference to water demand management in the UK. It's our duty to shout about it from the rooftops!"
Save the Rain™ is a major campaign aiming to make water saving 'second nature' to every UK household. The campaign's vision is that widespread usage of Rainwater Harvesting Systems in UK homes and businesses will reduce demand on the UK's mains water supplies and help to combat water shortages and drought in the future. Save the Rain™ wants rainwater harvesting to be compulsory on all new build homes within 3 years, and for grants to be made available to encourage wider take up.
Save the Rain™ is sponsored by Hydro International and is being run in association with British Water. Waterwise, the NGO set up to promote water efficiency in the UK has warmly welcomed the campaign: Jacob Tomkins, Director of Waterwise said: "Waterwise welcomes the Save the Rain™ campaign. Careful and safe use of rainwater can significantly reduce a building's water consumption. With the right legislation and promotion, rainwater reuse can help ensure sustainable resources for the future. Saving water makes good economic sense and has environmental and social benefits too."
Hydro International, which has offices in the UK, USA and Ireland, provides cost-effective solutions for controlling the quantity and improving the quality of water with minimal maintenance. Hydro operates in the water and wastewater sector and the stormwater sector for the construction industry and offers an enhanced coverage of treatment solutions to the municipal sector.