Dr Tom Hargreaves is involved in an exciting new research project funded by the Ofwat Innovation Fund. Led by Anglian Water, the Enabling Water Smart Communities Project is a 4-year, £5.5m project that will involve novel collaborations between water companies, housing developers, local authorities, universities and more. The aim of the project is to develop key, actionable and transferable principles for the development of ‘Water Smart Communities’. These are settlements that combine different elements of water management to deliver multiple benefits for the society and environment. They use a holistic and integrated approach to water management to contribute to green high-quality open spaces, promote sustainable use of water resources, build resilience to climate change and extreme weather events, contribute to biodiversity and deliver water-efficient homes.
3S’s role in the project will be to explore what a ‘water smart community’ might mean and how it is experienced by households and communities themselves. This will involve three key tasks:
i) Conducting a desk-based mapping study to pull together existing evidence on how households and communities experience alternative and innovative types of water and sewage infrastructure;
ii) Carrying out a series of in-depth case studies in communities with alternative and innovative water and sewage infrastructures. This may include off-grid communities as well as more ‘mainstream’ developments equipped with advanced water efficiency measures; and,
iii) Conducting a householder evaluation of the plans and principles for (and potentially demonstrator homes within) water-smart communities developed as part of the project.
More information about the project can be found at: https://waterinnovation.challenges.org/winners/water-smart-communities/