Average water consumption currently stands at a staggering 160 litres per person, per day. The Code for Sustatainable Homes aims to bring this down to 80 litres. How can we reduce this figure? Quite simply, we must all alter our behaviour and use less water. Rainwater harvesting can help us do this.
The goverment stance is now clear with the following:
a) The Code for Sustainable Homes requires social housing to meet level 3, reducing mains water consumption to 85 litres per person per day by using rainwater harvesting and water efficient appliances. This is not presently obligatory for the private sector, but all new builds have to have a rating , even if it s a nil rating.
b) Building Regulations Part G will change in October 2009 to enforce a limit of 125 litres mains water consumption per head per day in new-builds.
c) Councils give priority to planning permission to applicants with rainwater harvesting.
d) Flood Attenuation. Planners now encourage and impose rainwater harvesting to alleviate flood threats.
e) Business can benefit from the Enhanced Capital Allowance: 100% material and installation costs of rainwater harvesting systems registered on Water Technology List can be offset against tax liability.
f) New legislation will give water boards greater hosepipe ban powers during water shortages. Hosepipes will be banned from topping up pools, hot tubs and decorative ponds, as well as for watering gardens and outdoor cleaning.
g) DEFRA can impose even more severe drought restrictions at any time.
h) British Standard 8515 came out in February 2009 on installation of rainwater harvesting.