Future Water Resilient Places

Consultation February 2024

In advance of reaching out to other key sectors for their views on water and place, we are seeking to answer the following questions from a water sector perspective. Please use the following link to the survey. Click here


Place Resilience and place-based working are prominent in policy across government and agency agendas (UK and wider). Place-based approaches offer the water sector an opportunity to:

  • – Better engage key sectors in the planning and creation of places which are water resilient and support the development and delivery of a resilient, net zero water system
  • – Work collaboratively with others to develop multifunctional solutions

Designing and creating successful new places needs to align with the planned development of the water system but consideration of the water system is frequently based on past experience not the future plans of the water sector.

The UK Water Partnership (UKWP) recognises that there is a real opportunity – and an urgent need – to:

  • – Embed water in placemaking
  • – Cultivate water stewardship and leadership in key sectors
  • – Ensure that the water sector is ready and able to engage with placemaking led by others

UKWP has, therefore, included a workstream on Future Resilient Places in its current work programme – aiming to address this opportunity by co-developing work on place and water with key place professions and other stakeholder groups.

Why is place important to the water sector?

There are clearly many occasions where water sector activities and actions must be sensitive to place and context (in terms of communications, design, decision making, chosen solutions etc.). But there are also:

Situations where the place-based priorities of others influence water sector action, for example: 

  • – New developments increasing demand for water and wastewater services
  • – Changing land use placing pressure on water and wastewater systems
  • – Biodiversity and climate action impacting on the water system and its management
  • – Demand for access to quality water environments for commercial and/or recreational activities impacting on the water system and its management
  • – Local economic development priorities impacting on water sector workforce and supply chains (including the opportunities for skills development and the challenges of attracting and retaining talent)

Water sector priorities influencing the place-based activities of others

  • – Situations/locations where water sector priorities offer opportunities for, or constrain, the activities of others
  • – Situations/locations where water sector priorities can be built into wider place-based action through:
  • – Better alignment of plans and action
  • – Enhanced collaboration and partnership based delivery
  • – Recognising and promoting water sector priorities that can be delivered by others (local authorities, communities, landowners etc.)

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