A new report written by Eunomia identifies the wider benefits of Sustainable Drainage Schemes (SuDS) and provides guidance to water and sewerage companies (WaSCs) on approaches to maximise the potential for benefits to be realised.
Over the past year, Eunomia, in partnership with Richard Allitt Associates, has been undertaking a study for UK Water Industry Research (UKWIR), which involved:
- Understanding the wider benefits of SuDS – notably relating to temperature regulation, air quality, biodiversity, pollination, and mental and physical health – the monetary value of benefits (where possible), and to whom these benefits accrue;
- Engaging with these wider ‘beneficiaries’ to explore how best to present to them the evidence of these benefits in order to increase the likelihood of obtaining contributory funding towards SuDS projects; and
- Considering approaches to delivering SuDS schemes in partnership with third parties to facilitate engagement with local residents and implement schemes in a more cost-effective manner.
Chris Sherrington, Principal Consultant at Eunomia, who directed the project said:
This was a really interesting study that demonstrates the central role that SuDS, and green infrastructure more broadly, can play in enhancing citizens’ quality of life, particularly in urban areas.
While the initial driver for WaSCs relates to surface water management, the research has shown that through appropriate engagement with other potential ‘beneficiaries’, such approaches can effectively deal with a much wider range of societal issues. The hope is that this report, and the associated guidance will increase the extent to which such partnership working becomes the norm.
The report, which includes a number of recommendations to WaSCs, can be purchased from the UKWIR website.