Sunday 14 July 2024
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Nottingham

Council makes savings by supplying its own water

Nottingham City Council has been supplying water services to its own buildings for four years.

The Environment and Sustainability division set up a Water Self-supply Licence in 2019 after changes in the water industry allowed organisations to choose how they receive water supply and wastewater services.

After becoming a self-supplier, the City Council has saved around £200,000 per year on water bills and achieved three times the amount of predicted efficiencies.

The Water Self-Supply Licence allows the council to buy water directly from the wholesaler Severn Trent Water – removing the retailer aspect – in order to manage its own water payments. This model allows the division to increase customer service standards by supplying its own sites, reducing operating costs, and increasing water efficiency.

Improved data analysis of sites, by undertaking more regular reads, allows the City Council to identify leaks much sooner than was previously possible, ensuring the council can target repairs.

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Due to the success of the scheme, a portion of Nottingham City Council’s schools were added to the portfolio in 2022, meaning that more water savings can be made which benefits a wider audience and ensures council water bills are reduced further.

To make further improvements, the team is currently installing a new-to-the-market meter-reading device onto a number of the harder-to-reach water meters so that they can be read remotely. This will reduce the time needed to travel to the various sites and further improve efficiency by providing weekly reads, which is key for sites that may be prone to leaks.

Nottingham City Council is one of only three local authorities to have a Water Self-supply Licence and is unique in the market being the only self-supplier, across local authorities or commercial organisations, to be running a fully in-house operational model.

In addition to the progress made with the Water Self-supply Licence, the council hopes to deliver further water efficiency projects in 23/24.

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Councillor Corall Jenkins, Portfolio Holder for Environment, Energy, Waste and Parks, said: “Nottingham City Council’s achievements with the Water Self-supply Licence are fantastic and another example of our innovative schemes to improve resource efficiency across our estate. As a large consumer of water, having a self-supply licence has allowed us to have greater control over this precious resource.

“The team are always looking for new ways to use water more efficiently to save costs and improve our environmental performance as we work towards becoming a carbon-neutral city.”

Gina Clark, Compliance and Consultancy Manager at Nottingham City Council,  said:

“From the conception of the idea through to market entry and now four years of successful operation, it has been exciting to watch the developments in the water market.

“Being unique in the market has been a challenge, but the council has risen to it, and we have improved and developed each step of the way.

“I am proud to be the water self-supply manager and am looking forward to continuing to deliver significant financial savings for the authority.”

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