SuDS included in new sustainable water strategy in Northern Ireland

A new long-term water strategy for Northern Ireland has been launched, setting out a range of initiatives to deliver the Northern Ireland Executive’s long-term goal of a sustainable water sector in the region.

Sustainable Water – A Long Term Water Strategy for Northern Ireland says Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) are the “preferred option” in managing all surface water in new developments.

Minister Michelle McIlveen said: “This important strategy encourages cross-departmental working to manage water in our environment, develop the water and sewerage industry to meet customer needs, to fulfil our environmental commitments by reducing pollution and improving the quality of our inland and coastal waters. It also sets out ways in which we can address drainage issues and reduce the amount of energy needed to move and treat both drinking water and wastewater.

“By doing so, it will help to support the Regional Development Strategy 2035 to promote economic growth and ensure that we do all we can to protect the environment and reduce the risk of flooding throughout Northern Ireland.”

In a raft of measures designed to reduce the risk of flooding, the strategy states that “Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) are the preferred option for managing surface water in new developments.”

It says: “It is likely that a combination of SuDS measures would need to be employed to manage the surface water in a development including: green roofs, permeable paving, swales, soak-aways, basins, ponds, wetlands, stormwater attenuation tanks and rainwater recycling.”

However the strategy document says action is needed to clarify responsibilities for long-term maintenance, ownership and liability associated with SuDS.

“Long-term maintenance, ownership and liability for SuDS require further consideration. This will need to be resolved to enable any such approach to be widely adopted.”

Download Sustainable Water – A Long Term Water Strategy for Northern Ireland.

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