Advisor report calls for 110-litre daily standard and SuDS for new builds

Recommendations on water efficiency, personal consumption and sustainable drainage featured in the Environmental Audit Committee’s Heatwaves report, published last week.

The committee told the government to adopt 110 litres per person per day as the mandatory standard in Part G of the building regulations for all new buildings, and to embed a water saving culture to reduce demand during heatwaves. It pointed out: “The urban heat island effect results in water stressed areas experiencing increased demand for water during heatwaves. It is expected that there will be less water available per person in the future. Regardless, the government has weakened its water efficiency ambitions and has overlooked industry representations to make per capita consumption standards more efficient.”

The EAC also detailed the multiple benefits of SuDS and said: “There is no need for further review of the benefits of SuDS. Before publication of the revised National Policy Planning Framework it should be updated to require SuDS in all new developments. Guidance on how to build SuDS to an adoptable standard should also be produced.”

It noted: “England is the only country in the UK that does not require SuDS for all new developments in its planning policy. In the 2013 National Adaptation Programme the Government promised to make SuDS a requirement by 2014, but this commitment was quietly dropped. This is disappointing especially as it is now over ten years since the Pitt Review’s recommendation to make SuDS compulsory.”

The study found heat waves will become more common and that heat related deaths could treble by 2050 if the government doesn’t act on these recommendations and a series of others.