Think tanks advocate joining up flood and drought resilience

Policy Connect and the Westminster Sustainable Business Forum have called for urgent action to ensure new homes are water efficient, resilient to flooding and dispose of surface water sustainably.

In Bricks & Water – Building resilience for England’s homes (a follow up to a 2018 report), the two think tanks recommended a practical set of measures to make new and existing homes more adaptable to the adverse effects of climate change, including the reduced availability of drinking water and the increased risk of flooding. These included:

• backing recommendations on water efficiency, including for a personal consumption target, mandatory water labelling and building regulations to deliver 100 litres per person per day through fittings;

• property flood resilience measures, including requiring properties at risk of flooding to include resilience measures and extending the Flood Re scheme;

• sustainable drainage measures, including mandating SUDS for all new developments in England; and

• performance measurement, including incorporating water efficiency status of buildings in the Energy Performance Certification.

Inquiry chair, Baroness McIntosh of Pickering, said: “There is an enduring perception that drought and flooding are rare events with minimal impacts on our daily lives. However, as the global climate crisis intensifies, our communities now must confront issues arising from too little and too much water on an annual basis. In consequence, a key challenge we face is to ensure that the construction of new homes does not make these problems worse.”