Urban Rainwater Harvesting and Water Reuse

Revised January 2015

With the ever growing need to conserve the UK’s water resources, rainwater harvesting (RWH), grey water recycling (GWR) and water reuse solutions are receiving growing interest from politicians, planners, developers and the general public. To date, the UK has been relatively slow in the development of water recycling and reuse compared to more ‘water scarce’ regions, where the use of these systems is increasingly commonplace. Recent focus in the UK, by a more environmentally concerned public and those responsible for long term urban planning and development, questions the sustainability of current water use in our modern urban way of life, particularly our in-building use, ‘personal water footprint’ and recreational garden watering.

There are several reasons for this rising interest in urban water use and reuse. These include the global trend for migration from rural to urban environments, with per capita water use amplified by the subsequent changing lifestyles and habits. Media focus on climate change has also led to increased concern about higher drought frequencies and potential constraints on water use in domestic urban areas.

This guide is intended for readers interested in the topic of water harvesting, recycling and reuse for non-potable urban applications. It provides an introduction to:

The guide does not cover in any detail water reuse for agricultural and industrial purposes as there are specific regulations and guidelines for these sectors, nor does the guide cover large municipal scale indirect potable water reuse schemes which are often subject to specific large-scale planning studies.

Copies of the Guide are available from the Foundation, price 15.00, less 20% to FWR members.

View the full Guide