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Associations preparing to face more flooding and more water shortages in future
Over 5 million people in England and Wales live and work in properties that are at risk of flooding from rivers or the sea, according to the Environment Agency.
“This summer  had a cost of £400m and compensation for surface water damage had become a major issue.... we are seeing an increase in the frequency of these large scale events. Getting a month's worth of rain in 24 hours is becoming the norm."
Malcolm Tarling, Spokesman, Association of British Insurers
Water shortages are also a serious issue. In early 2012, London and surrounding regions became severely short of water, with widespread hosepipe bans announced. The shortage was so significant that London was a few months short of running out of water. Housing associations and landlords will increasingly need to be prepared for water shortages, and take action to reduce water use.
The average person in England and Wales uses 150 litres of water a day. By 2020 the demand for water could increase by 800 million extra litres of water a day. Most of this water is used for washing and toilet flushing, but it also includes drinking, cooking, car washing and watering the garden. We use almost 50 per cent more water than 25 years ago, partly because of power showers and household appliances.
“Water use in the home on average accounts for 23% of domestic heating bills, about 13% of a home’s total energy bill. Water should be at the heart of energy efficiency delivery in the UK."
Andrew Tucker, Water Strategy Manager, Energy Savings Trust
Using water in our homes contributes around 35 million tonnes of greenhouse gases a year. The average family uses 500 litres of water a day (due to some communal use of appliances). That’s equal to 1.5 tonnes of greenhouse gases a year. Warmer air can carry more moisture – leading to more rainfall and flooding.
To examine these important issues, Sustainable Homes and partners will present a one-day conference examining the research and action being taken to save water and reduce the likelihood and impact of flooding.
The Conference will be held in London Living Room, on the 27th February 2013, and will feature expert presentations from those at the cutting edge of water conservation and dealing with flooding.
“Flooding and water shortages are both growing concerns, and our actions to address them were key to our second SHIFT Gold Award. We are working hard to help tenants save money and become more energy efficient by reducing the amount of water they use. At the same time, we have also worked closely with our partners to reduce the likelihood of flooding in areas of the district where it has previously had a significant impact. By sharing knowledge and experiences, housing providers can be better equipped to meet these challenges.”
Helen Wordsworth, Service Director Community Regeneration and Sustainability
Wakefield and District Housing