Commission vision for drought resilience recognised by engineering experts

Published: 7 Oct 2019

By: NIC

Tagged:

The National Infrastructure Commission’s work on improving the resilience of England’s water supply to drought has received the Institution of Civil Engineers’ Chris Binnie Award for Sustainable Water Management.

The Commission’s 2018 report Preparing for a drier future made a strong economic case for addressing future drought risk by boosting the resilience of the water supply network instead of relying on emergency measures to maintain a supply of 4,000 megalitres per day.

The report identified that a combination of improving supply infrastructure, reducing leakage by half and reducing demand up to 2050 would cost £21 billion, significantly less than the £40 billion cost of relying on emergency options such as tankers and standpipes. It would also reduce the impact of growing demand on England’s water environment.

The recommendations on drought resilience formed part of the Commission’s National Infrastructure Assessment published in July 2018. The government has accepted the need to reduce leakage by 50 per cent by 2050 – which will save 1,400 megalitres of water each day. This has been incorporated into the National Policy Statement on Water, which shapes the environmental and operational parameters within which England’s water supply companies operate.

Chair of the National Infrastructure Commission, Sir John Armitt, said:

“Having a long-term perspective allowed the Commission to rethink how England’s water system copes with drought. We proposed a coherent and deliverable plan that provides reassurance for customers and protects our environment at much less cost than the current approach. I welcome the progress that has already been made and the extent to which the recommendations are shaping government policy.

“As a former President of the Institution of Civil Engineers it is particularly pleasing to have the Commission’s work recognised. The engineering sector is at the forefront of ensuring that the UK can address climate change.”

Chris Binnie, ICE water panel member and Exeter University visiting professor, said:

“The Commission’s report has been a strategic step forward. In particular, its recommendation that leakage be halved by 2050 has now been taken up by the government, regulators, water companies, and widely supported.

“The award recognises such leadership. The award is open to any organisation, researchers, consultants, contractors, owners working in sustainable water management and we look forward to submissions for the 2020 award this coming spring.”

The award was announced at an ICE awards ceremony on 4 October.

 

Share this article

<

Recent Articles

“The priority now is to get on with it”: Sir John Armitt responds to government’s net zero strategies
Three Windmills on green hills in front of a stormy sky

“The priority now is to get on with it”: Sir John Armitt responds to government’s net zero strategies

The government has today (19 October 2021) published a number of documents setting out commitments to support the transition to a lower carbon economy. Responding to publication of the Heat and Buildings Strategy, Sir John Armitt, Chair of the National Infrastructure Commission, said: “Kick starting the heat pump market to reduce costs for households to...

19 Oct 2021 By
In sight but out of mind: designing infrastructure to support mental health
Bridge in Bedford

In sight but out of mind: designing infrastructure to support mental health

An opinion piece by Ann Zhang, economist at Frontier Economics and Chair of the Commission’s Young Professionals Panel. A Breath of fresh air: Green space and mental health If there is one lesson that lockdown has taught me, (aside from the fact I will never be a star baker), it is that access to green...

13 Oct 2021 By
Fundamental shift in funding to local level needed to help level up English towns
Wetherby from the air

Fundamental shift in funding to local level needed to help level up English towns

Levelling up towns will require a shift in government’s approach from announcing multiple ringfenced pots of money – many of which councils must compete over – to instead handing power to local areas to deliver their own infrastructure strategies with five-year devolved budgets, according to the UK’s official infrastructure advisers. In a report launched today...

23 Sep 2021 By

Evidence_Icon_Turquoise Created with Sketch.

Explore data used in the Commission's research, and gain insights from across UK infrastructure

Join our team of professionals supporting the Commission to provide evidence based and forward thinking advice on infrastructure strategy.