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Water leadership for local authorities

Local authorities can help reduce consumption of potable water, promote more sustainable management and lead on local strategies to reduce flood risk.

How can local authorities lead on water?

Understand existing water management systems as a relationship between a complex natural system and the impacts of human intervention.

Create water resource management plans and strategic flood risk assessments with the support of the Environment Agency.

Plan properly for water management to avoid the major floods of recent years.

Ensure green infrastructure is multi-functional to provide flood relief, cooling of the urban heat island, health benefits as well as quality places.

Promote sustainable water behaviour and use to businesses and residents.

Use local strategic partnerships to consider water management issues with partner organisations and stakeholders.

Forge additional partnerships with water companies and other relevant organisations such as Waterwise.

Use the planning system to plan at a catchment scale and to insist on stronger water management measures in new development through the Code for Sustainable Homes.

Integrate water efficiency devices into procurement procedures for new public buildings and fit water saving devices to existing public buildings.

What people are doing

How people with first-hand experience of flood management coped with real-life situations

  • Yorkshire under water - Mary Bagley, director of parks and countryside in Sheffield, talks about the city’s approach to flood management in its urban parks and how this has brought in much wider benefits
  • Hampshire: water, water everywhere - Stuart Jarvis, deputy director of the environment at Hampshire County Council, faced the highest rainfall in 200 years – and severe drought too
  • Put to the test by Oxfordshire’s floods - Barry West, highways adoption officer, reveals how the county has used sustainable drainage systems to cope with a series of floods
  • Living with flood risk in Cambridgeshire - Mark Vigor, director of strategic planning at Cambridgeshire County Council, describes how an sustainable drainage system was successfully designed into a new housing development.


CABE and Urban Practitioners
with the cities of Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield