AD3: Managing water availability and quality
This objective is concerned with sustainable water management. Projected decreases in rainfall in the summer months and periods of drought could lead to severe water shortages in the UK. This will be exacerbated by increased temperature which is likely to cause a surge in demand. Water quality may also be a problem, for example, should water become contaminated after flooding.
Water is used in many different ways and so the consequences of these changes will be different across the population and its assets. Changes in water quality will have significant impacts on biodiversity, due to changes in coastal and river environments. Possible adaptation measures include water conservation and efficiency, developing and managing infrastructure and promoting the appropriate installation of sustainable drainage systems.
It is important to develop an understanding of the potential impacts of less rainfall, drought or poor water quality on your local authority area and to assess the vulnerability of the people and assets that may be affected. This information will help ensure you have a sound evidence base on which to develop targeted planning policy.
Overview of Tasks
1. Establish a baseline
2. Assess opportunities to reduce risk and improve resilience
In deciding which areas and sites are suitable for development, planning authorities should take into account the capacity of existing and potential infrastructure (including for water supply, sewage and sewerage, waste management and community infrastructure such as schools and hospitals) to service the site or area in ways consistent with cutting carbon dioxide emissions and successfully adapting to likely changes in the local climate.
When setting requirements for sustainable buildings planning authorities must be able to demonstrate clearly the local circumstances that warrant higher standards then those set nationally. For example, these could include a standard for water efficiency where the envisaged development would be unacceptable for its proposed location.
Planning authorities should expect new development to give priority to the use of sustainable drainage systems, paying attention to the potential contribution to be gained to water harvesting from impermeable surfaces and encourage layouts that accommodate waste water recycling.