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Flood Control: Housing

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN HL1605, tabled on 8 July 2022

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they (1) are taking, and (2) plan to take, to encourage households to (a) store, and (b) provide soakaways for, rainwater; and what assessment they have made of incentivising the adoption of such practices through reductions in (i) council tax, or (ii) water and drainage fixed rates.

Answered on

22 July 2022

We support the use of blue green infrastructure, such as sustainable drainage systems and grey water recycling to manage surface water, across existing and new communities. We have placed a greater emphasis on this in our 25 Year Environment Plan, Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Policy Statement and updated planning policy.

We are currently reviewing the implementation of Schedule 3 of the Flood and Water Management Act (2010). This schedule introduces standards for new sustainable drainage systems and makes connection to public sewers conditional on approval of the drainage system before any construction work can commence. National standards will set out a hierarchy of destinations for surface water runoff to ensure the most effective drainage system is delivered that will help alleviate pressures on the sewer network, as well as reducing flood risk, harvesting rainwater and improving water quality, amenity and biodiversity.

As set out in our Written Ministerial Statement on Water Demand in July 2021, we are developing a roadmap towards greater water efficiency in new housing developments and retrofits. This includes the exploration of revised building regulations and how the development of new technologies can contribute to meeting these standards. We will ensure that the underlying legislation can, where appropriate, accommodate any potential future expansion of rainwater harvesting, water re-use and storage options.

Households who can show that their premises are not connected to the public sewer for surface water drainage are already entitled to a bill discount via a surface water drainage rebate from their water company.