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31 August 23

Affinity Water celebrates success of water saving success in Bedfordshire

  • Local school and college receive water saving certificates
  • Proving by saving water you save money
  • A world first for new water saving behavioural changes

A local primary school* in Bedfordshire has reduced its water use by 42 per cent, from an average of 14,559 litres per day to 8,490 litres per day. A reduction of 6,069 litres per day, and a financial saving of £6,424.04 per annum.

In addition, Central Bedfordshire College has reduced their water use by 44 per cent, from an average of 11,687 per day to 6,438 litres per day. A reduction of 5,249 litres per day, and a financial saving of £5,556.07 per annum. 

Both primary school and college are due to be presented with certificates from Affinity Water, the UK’s largest water only company, for saving water in a new Ofwat and Nesta-backed innovation project, called Project Zero.

A Spokesperson for the Central Bedfordshire College, said:

“As a local business, we care about creating a sustainable environment for our local residents and neighbours and are pleased to have taken part in this world first innovation project. When we were approached by Affinity Water, we didn’t realise that by making relatively small changes in our business we could achieve this significant water saving, and in the process save money for our business too.

We would certainly encourage others to support and introduce their own behavioural change adaptations. It has been an extremely positive result for us and one that we will continue to implement moving forward.”

The Ofwat and Nesta-backed innovation project, called Project Zero (also known as ‘Water Neutrality at NAV sites’) will take place at three locations. Currently efforts are concentrated at the second location, a development called Bidwell in Houghton Regis Town, Central Bedfordshire.

The trial will focus on making new homes water efficient and reducing water use by encouraging behavioural change. The aim is to ensure that the total water use in the community is the same as before the new homes were built.

Both local primary school and college are part of the national trial and have both demonstrated that once the local community gets behind the concept of changing the way they use water, then significant results can be achieved helping the environment and saving money for businesses.

The Affinity Water, Water Neutrality trial in Houghton Regis Town is set to be a trend setter for the industry as it explores new ways to trial how to build new housing developments while at the same time not putting added pressure on the Affinity Water finite water resources.

It will create a blueprint for the industry and show us how we can adapt and become more resilient to the impact of climate change by building new homes that are water efficient and encouraging behavioural change. We need to create a model of sustainable growth which will help the industry meet our pledge to achieve net zero operational emissions by 2030.

Lina Nieto, Water Neutrality Manager at Affinity Water, said:

“We are blown away from what has been achieved by the local businesses in Mid-Bedfordshire. This is a fantastic result for local primary school, college, and Affinity Water.

Not only have they both saved significant amounts of water but have equally demonstrated the positive actions towards helping protect our precious chalk streams in the region and reduce the demand for water.

Ofwat and Nesta have been a huge factor in backing this innovation trial and allowing us to demonstrate that when we all work together, behavioural change can be achieved.”

New properties in the Affinity Water area are expected to use an extra 83.03 million litres a day by 2032 on top of what is already being used. This is at a time when taking additional water from the environment will become more challenging, as climate change also puts pressure on environmental resources. These trials will fly the flag nationally for the encouragement of putting more emphasis on water saving behaviours and creating a blueprint for reducing water demand.

Affinity Water is also working with the behavioural change experts Grapeviners and IWNL (Independent Water Networks), who operate water and wastewater networks across the UK, and H2OiQ, a manufacturer, supplier and installer of water efficiency products. The trial is working in partnership with Central Bedfordshire Council and the local community.

Richard Butler, Executive Director of H2OiQ, said:

“We are now one step closer to achieving the world’s first water neutral housing development at Bidwell, Houghton Regis. Our target is to reduce the consumption in the local region by 350,000 litres a day, and these results show it can be done.

We fitted tap restrictors, kitchen water booster taps, delayed fill WC inlet valves, water efficient shower heads and urinal water managers and it has made a significant difference to these businesses.  Now we want others to follow from this great example.

We’d like thank the local businesses taking part in these important water saving trials.”

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