NRW prioritises water efficiency improvements across their buildings

NRW has taken steps to improve its water efficiency across all its offices and estates as Wales once again enters a period of prolonged dry weather.

The work has already begun and will run between 1 June and 30 September 2023 as part of NRW’s asset renewal programme.  This programme supports the 3 objectives of our Corporate Plan to ensure that by 2030 that:

  • Nature is recovering
  • Communities are resilient to climate change
  • Pollution is minimised

The Corporate Plan recognises that water efficiency plays a key part in reducing our carbon emissions.  Using less water reduces the amount of energy we use, helping us towards reaching Net Zero.

Using less water improves our resource efficiency and resilience and decreases our wastewater, reducing our overall impact on the environment.

The program will build on the water efficiency assets we already have installed by:

  • Replacing existing toilets with new dual flush units (reducing water consumption to 4.5 / 3 litres per flush)
  • Replacing existing taps with new aerators reducing the flow to 4 litres per minute from 8lpm and with push start/stop valves
  • Installation of Thermostatic Mixing Valves (TMVs) to reduce energy use when using hot water

These measures are projected to immediately make a 65% saving in our water use.

Clare Pillman, CEO of NRW, said:

“Following 2022’s drought, and last week’s announcement of Wales again entering ‘prolonged dry weather’ status we must all take action to use our precious water resources wisely every day.”
“With periods of dry weather set to increase in frequency as the climate emergency worsens, we’ve taken the decision to prioritise our of water efficiency program across our estate and to encourage everyone look at the actions they can take to use water wisely, helping us and the people of Wales to a adapt to the Nature and Climate Emergency we all face”

NRW will be monitoring our sites to capture other savings, sharing our experience, and actively encouraging businesses, residents, and all sectors of society to undertake actions themselves to mitigate our impact on the environment and by using water wisely every day.

95% of our drinking water in Wales taken from surface water (reservoirs, lakes, rivers) and reducing the amount we use also has a positive impact on the species and biodiversity that rely on these aquatic environments.

 The Committee for Climate Change recognised in it’s CCRA3 report that water efficiency has the greatest benefit-cost ratio of any action that we can take in adapting to the impacts of climate change.

With nearly 20% of our home energy bills linked to the heating of water for washing or warmth, improving our water efficiency and being conscious of our water use can make a real impact to our energy bills during this difficult time. See Waterwise for some water saving tips.

To find out how you can make greater changes, like getting a water meter, contact your water provider DCWW or Hafren Dyfrdwy.If you run a business, support and advice is also available from them.

We encourage all farmers to undertake a Water Audit as part of our wider advice during dry weather periods and to help plan for future dry weather events.