Water Impacts

Surfer cresting a wave

Why measure water use impacts?

Large parts of the UK are now classified as being water-stressed. Moreover, the regulatory environment around water use and water losses has tightened considerably in recent decades. Events place very different stresses on both physical amounts of water used and in terms of pressures on water infrastructure. While event hosting and construction of venues can create pressures in terms of pollution of water courses, or in the case of very large events, redirection of water courses, we expect the emphasis in the UK to be far more around physical water use around the time of the event, and in preparation for events.

Basic Measures

Basic measures include action plans for seeking to reduce water use, and more efficient use of water. The basic measure is having a water resource management plan – which would identify actions taken to reduce the amount of water used at the event by caterers and visitors. It would also identify how public water supply would be managed in order to conserve the resource.

Basic measures would include:

  • A Water Use and Management Plan that considers the drivers of water use, and management options to reduce water use. This may be part of a wider resource management plan. Below are several resources which can assist event organisers when developing a plan to reduce water use at their event. 

Intermediate Measures

Intermediate measures consider the quantity of water used by visitors, and by organisers, at the event site. Practically this can be extremely difficult to assess. Water used at the event venue for drinking, sanitation, food and drink preparation can be estimated where water is metered. It is more difficult to assess the amount of water used by firms servicing an event, or the water used by visitors off site. Then the practical intermediate measures focus on water use at the event location.

  • Quantity of water used (litres public water supply) at event site