Water Plus Water Week podcast: Climate emergency challenges for the public sector: how water efficiency can power progress

As many public sector organisations declare climate emergencies or are just looking at ways to bring down their utility costs across sites its important to include water into the mix

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Dan Hutchins, a Key Account Manager from Water Plus talks to us about how looking at water use can help public sector organisations with the climate emergency challenges to go net zero.

He said “Public sector organisations over a period of time have understood they’ve got to focus on climate change and recognise they have to put a series of actions in place to reach net zero.”

Dan discusses how public sector frameworks help to support these goals and decarbonisation targets as well as saving water and budgets.

“The key thing is we all have a part to play to reduce water usage, it’s not just procurement, finance or energy managers, all employees can help to drive water efficiency, it’s important to create awareness with colleagues to report, for example any leaks ( dripping taps, leaking toilets) to their facilities management and it’s an ongoing process to do this.

“So Water Plus pro-actively support customers, from councils, NHS Trusts and Emergency services, to understand and monitor their water consumption, carry out regular maintenance checks and review their site portfolios – if you think during and since Covid, the working patterns for a lot of organisations have changed but at the same time they still have their portfolios of buildings to operate and therefore they need to understand and to make sure they’re doing all they can to reduce the potential of leaks and reducing water consumption.”

“A lot of public sector organisations are multi site businesses and it’s really important that its driven down in a number of different ways – through procurement, energy and sustainability teams but also by working with Water Plus. We carry out seasonal campaigns where we supply information and checklists to raise awareness giving hints and tips, that encourage all users of water to look for signs that are going to affect that organisation.  Essentially Save Water Save Money, is driving out that message that everyone is responsible for looking and reporting the dripping tap or leaks”.

Water Plus has supported Stockport NHS Foundation Trust as they take additional steps around water-saving to support their progress on their Green Plan. Water Plus worked with a council earlier this year to increase it’s water efficiency by more that 36,000 litres of water a day this year (1500,1600 litres an hour) at one site, after extra tracking on use and a visit by Water Plus experts.  Water Plus alerted the council to the opportunity from data logger information that fed into a smart online portal, provided by the water retailer.  It allowed the engineer, arranged by Water Plus, to make a change to the pipework in February 2022, saving water.

Where a public sector organisation has to advertise their water procurement – and if spend is over £25,000 then they will need to – then they can manage the tender process meeting the compliance requirements under the Public Contract Regulations 2015, or they can look at existing frameworks which are much easier and less time-consuming.

By using an established Public Contract Regulations compliant framework the legal requirements will be met for public sector procurement needs. And frameworks have delivered significant savings for the public sector too.

Water Plus is on a number of frameworks for the public sector to provide water and wastewater services.

One of those frameworks is Pagabo’s Utilities Supply Framework for the public sector launched in April 2021. It covers water and wastewater, is managed by the national framework provider on behalf of Red Kite Learning Trust.

To partner with Water Plus, email: [email protected] and include “future Net Zero” in the email subject heading.

For more examples of successes businesses have around looking closer at water – and advice on action to take check out the future Net Zero information here.