Understanding Water at the National Trust – Exclusive Webinar

Mark Roberts works for the National Trust as an internal consultant on water. His role is to provide their properties with advice and guidance on all aspects of water across […]

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By Geoff Curran

Mark Roberts works for the National Trust as an internal consultant on water. His role is to provide their properties with advice and guidance on all aspects of water across the properties including key items like mains water usage, private water supplies, private sewage systems, flood risk and sustainable drainage. He is passionate about the environment and is keen to improve the way the organisation manages water and reduce the impacts it has on the local water environment.

Mark will discuss how to baseline and monitor water and then look at wider aspects of water including the deregulation happening in April. We will be joined by Jodi Robinson, VAS Operations Manager at Water Plus. She is knowledgeable in water efficient products and building tailored Water Management strategies to suit individual requirements. Jodi has over 15 years working in various consultancy and project managements positions.

A big thank you for Fit for the Future helping to pull this all together.

To listen to this webinar again click here.

During the webinar Mark didn’t have time to answer several questions, he has kindly answered them afterwards:

Q: What percentage of your sites have mains water as opposed to private water supplies?

Interesting question, we have a large number of private supplies but most of them are associated with tenanted cottages rather than our mansion sites. Of course we may have some sites that benefit from both mains and private supplies so it is not an easy figure to come to. As a guess I would say 15% of our properties have a private supply (roughly).

Q: Are you monitoring usage on NT properties where they are on private water supplies or is this of less interest as the cost savings potential is less?

We have a number of sites where a meter is attached to a private supply but this is the exception not the rule. Generally the key parameter for private supplies is water quality not quantity and it is water quality we spend most of our resources trying to get right.

Q: Now you have a water footprint and given the geographical spread of the National Trust property, when the market is deregulated, is the Trust going to tender to one supplier or 2 to 3 suppliers?

At the moment we haven’t made that decision. We like the idea of a regional split as water does have a regional link but we also like to ensure that all our properties have the same service and this might be difficult to achieve with multiple partners.  

Q: How did you identify all of your water users given the vast land and huge property portfolio?

We worked with the water company and used billing as the starting point. It then comes down to discussions with property staff and those people who pay bills. We are still finding a few which missed the first investigation.

Q: How do you manage agricultural supplies against your domestic supplies?

Many of our agricultural supplies are private abstractions are run by the tenant farmer under a private agreement. We have very few “abstractions” run by the organisation. Our own abstractions are managed by property staff and they will have dealings with the appropriate agencies at a local level. My main focus at the moment is getting our domestic supplies in order. With abstraction reform coming I am sure I will be looking at this next.