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Practical steps to conserve water supplies

Jonathan Reed will address the Summit on design and planning for water efficiency

Jonathan Reed is principal engineer at Atkins Water and has worked in the water industry for more than 10 years. He is a chartered civil and environmental engineer and a member of Ciria's water engineering advisory panel.

His wide experience has seen him take the lead on design and supervision of a number of water and infrastructure environmental engineering projects, water resource planning schemes and sustainable drainage systems (SUDS).

He has also taken a prominent position in several strategic projects to develop new resources and has written best practice guidance on promoting water efficiency. During the drought of 2004-06 he applied for drought orders on behalf of Southern Water and Mid Kent Water.

Mr Reed is also a director of sustainable development charity Sponge.

Presenting to the summit on the theme 'Water - improving efficiency to achieve a sustainable built environment', he will introduce his work with the Kent water efficiency group that saw him produce standards and guidance for new developments prior to the code for sustainable homes.

Exploring the benefits water efficiency measures for new houses can offer sees Mr Reed go on to explore the current environmental impact of catchments and water resources management. This shows how practical steps to reduce water waste can be implemented through the planning process.

With a project specifically designed to make houses more water efficient without imposing lifestyle changes, how have the building firms got on with it?

Mr Reed will also examine the barriers that can be encountered trying to get SUDS through planning - and once through what can change from design to procurement, how enforceable is it and what controls exist over the process.

There are, in Mr Reed's opinion, two aspects that contribute to the success of measures designed to promote water efficiency. First, the availability of products for new build and refurbishment that allow people to use less water - project data particularly points to the success of some retrofit techniques. Second - and this he feels is the crux of the matter - educating people about how to use water.

Many of the production processes of the raw materials for construction are relatively efficient in terms of water use, often because they have to pay for it and are driven by economics. Where domestic users cannot achieve similar efficiencies another measure might simply be putting the price up.

Jonathan Reed is principal of water resource management at Atkins and is speaking on the first day of the Green Construction Summit on increasing the efficiency of water use