The lake at Frenchay Campus

Water strategy

The Water Management Plan sets the water consumption baseline in 2011/12 and benchmarks UWE Bristol’s water consumption. It sets the standard for monitoring annual water consumption and the governance structure for reporting.

Our targets

UWE Bristol is committed to:

  • A 10% total absolute reduction (over our 2011/2012 baseline) in supplied water use by the end of 2019/2020.
    This means that no matter how many buildings or students we have, we must reduce our overall water use from the supply network.
  • A 20% relative reduction (over our 2011/2012 baseline) in supplied water use by the end of 2019/2020 – based on per full-time equivalent (FTE) student numbers. This means that our buildings and services are more efficient, using less water.
  • An increase in total rainwater-harvesting capacity.

Our progress

The relative 20% reduction target (m3/student FTE) has not been met, indeed water per student (FTE) has increased by over 50% since the baseline 2011/12.

Due to lack of performance in this area, the Water Review Project Team was established in May 2017, which has since led to the appointment of a water conservation specialist. This in turn has led to the identification of water saving measures across UWE Bristol, amongst others: 

  • Over £100k savings in the student village 
  • Approximately £13k savings in Bower Ashton 
  • Saving of £3,100 in the Farmhouse, Frenchay 
  • A plan to enable the reinstallation of the R Block rainwater harvesting system.

The Estates and Facilities department are working with academic colleagues, Professor Chad Staddon, and the Students' Union's Sustainability Committee Water rep (and PhD water conservation student) Karen Simpson, along with other academic specialists. Subject to the challenges identified, the early indications are that the University could reduce water consumption to the baseline figure within 12-18months.

There is an on-going programme of projects being carried out to reduce the University’s water consumption. The following are a selection from the past year:

  • Showering Research Project: In collaboration with UWE Bristol academics and Bristol Water, we are investigating water-reduction methods at the Student Village on Frenchay Campus. This is a long-term project, assessing the impact on water consumption of installing different water-saving features and behavior-change interventions.
  • Water sub-metering: To manage the water use of the site, we need to understand where and when it is used. There is a rolling programme, installing sub-meters across all campuses to help understand water consumption patterns in more detail. This includes water sub-meters in major water-use areas such as catering and research labs.
  • Rainwater: Investigate opportunities for rainwater/greywater recycling for new and existing buildings.
  • Low water use specification (new build and refurbishment): Ensure low-flow water fittings and waterless urinals into refurbishment and building specifications where suitable.
  • Proactive response to faults, eg urinal fault in the Farmhouse at Frenchay Campus.

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