Today marks the 25th World Water Day, an annual event set up by the United Nations to highlight the importance of fresh water in our lives.
This year, the central topic is “nature for water” – examining how we can use nature-based solutions to protect ecosystems and reduce instances of flooding, droughts or water pollution.
According to World Water Day, 2.1 billion people live without safe drinking water at home – this affects their health, education and livelihoods.
Of course, this subject is very close to our hearts at Greenbelt, as we ensure that our business model is sustainable in the long-term from both an environmental and a financial standpoint.
One of the ways we achieve this goal is through the use of our pioneering Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (or “SUDS”) on many of the housing developments we manage UK-wide.
SUDS are essentially interconnected systems of ponds, swales, basins and specialised vegetation that are designed to intercept local excess water. By retaining this water, our SUDS can meaningfully mitigate the risk of flooding – protecting our customers’ properties while driving down home insurance costs.
Greenbelt manages more than 100 housing developments that feature SUDS UK-wide and they’re instrumental in reducing incidences of urban flooding.
“SUDS are an alternative to piped systems that provide many key benefits, including reduced risk of flooding, treatment of runoff from hard surfaces and green biodiversity-rich spaces in new developments,” says Neil Berwick, who assists Greenbelt with SUDS and trains our contractors in their maintenance as part of a service agreement with Abertay University’s Urban Water Technology Centre.
Greenbelt’s SUDS allow us to greatly reduce the risk of urban flooding without posing a negative impact to the environment: while traditional piped systems can be unsightly or obtrusive, our SUDS are specifically-designed to complement the natural landscape and contribute towards local biodiversity while serving their core purpose as managed, engineered flood mitigation units.
“Greenbelt is recognised across the UK as a responsible and effective land management guardian, even when the heavens open and nature tries to do its worst,” notes Greenbelt CEO Alex Middleton.
“SUDS are just one example of our careful and sustainable approach to land management.”
If you’d like to read more about how Greenbelt’s pioneering SUDS integration can save you money while protecting the environment, our website has interesting articles on the subject.
If you’re interested in reading more about World Water Day’s mission to improve access to clean drinking water, sanitation and hygiene facilities, you can visit the World Water Day website, or the Unesco World Water Development Report 2018.