Water Resilience

Water use and resilience in the leisure sector

The leisure facility operator’s commitment to sustainable & responsible water use, and access point for help and assistance, endorsed by Waterwise – The water efficiency charity:

The National Framework for Water Resource is forecasting water shortages across the United Kingdom due to increasing population, increasing likelihood of drought, heavier rainfall events leading to localised flooding, over-abstraction of water leading to poor water and ecological standards. 

The Club Managers Association of Europe, Grounds Management Association, Race Course Association, and UK Golf Federation have adopted the Leisure Association Water Charter and are encouraging their members to adopt this Leisure Operator Water Charter to help access help and assistance to protect member’s futures.

Howard Craft CCM – Representing the CMAE, and GM at Berkhamsted Golf Club said:

“Water keeps golf courses looking beautiful, and makes them playable, but with water shortages forecast it is vital that golf operators find ways to adopt sustainable practices as regards their water usage. Our members manage thousands of golf facilities and collectively we can make a real difference, so we are delighted to sign and adopt this Charter on behalf of them. We will educate our members as to the Charter’s commitment’s and will help them to drive change to work more sustainably, and to use water more efficiently.”

Geoff Webb, GMA’s CEO said:

“We remain passionate about delivering high quality education and resources to our members, and we understand that managing adversity is high on the agenda for grounds staff and volunteers. This includes understanding best practice for water management, irrigation, and ways to improve environmental impact. Collaborating with Esi on this activity supports many of the activities we have underway as we continue our focus on sustainability.”

Caroline Davies, Racecourse Services Director at the Racecourse Association said:

“The RCA is pleased to sign the leisure association water charter on behalf of our members. All racecourses are green spaces and require significant amounts of water in order to deliver racing and maintain a safe surface for both our equine and human participants. Signing this charter allows us to continue our drive for sustainability and to share best practice with other sectors which has always been a key business practice.”

Michael Prosser, Regional Head of Racing and Clerk of the Course at Newmarket Racecourses, said:

“It’s incredibly important that as venue operators we work together to find solutions to the challenges we face with regards to finding long term solutions for sustainable irrigation. That means working with other sports, leisure activities and the water industry itself so that everyone is clear on the importance of developing water resilience, whether that is at an individual racecourse level, or as the racing industry, or indeed on a larger and wider scale. 

It’s an area we have been aware of and keen to invest in at Newmarket for a number of years, and the publication of this charter will hopefully act to motivate organisations across the sports and leisure sectors to ensure this topic forms a central part of their long-term turf management plans.”  

Douglas Poole – CEO – UK Golf Federation

“We all can see that natures resources and how we use them will impact on everyone in the coming years. The use of water on our golf courses and facilities has been to date very relaxed and enabled golf courses to pretty much use water to create a golf course that can be considered by some as slightly artificial.

But water is not an unlimited resource and there will be restrictions on its usage over the coming years which will make changes to how golf facilities and other sports and manage their green areas.

The UK Golf Federation are keen to be at the forefront of managing change in water usage for golf courses, and through its 1,100 members will support governments as they move forward in working with our limited and costly asset – water!”

In response, leisure facility operators are being asked to help prevent or reduce irrigation use, or water infrastructure, from adversely impacting supplies of potable water, water quality, or habitat and ecology. In return for this water resilience commitment, a package of help and assistance has been created including template water resilience plans, seminars and workshops.

This water sector funded initiative was developed by Environmental Solutions International, Leisure Associations, Leisure Operators, the English and Welsh Water Companies, and is supported by Waterwise –  the water efficiency charity.

Phillip Stephens – Demand Forecast Manager – Anglian Water

“Anglian Water is keen to encourage water efficiency and resilience initiatives across our region, given the stresses we face as the driest and one of the fastest growing parts of the UK. It’s also vital we all do what we can to leave enough water in the natural environment to support the countryside, and the wildlife that thrives there.

“We are, therefore, very happy to support these Leisure Sector Water Charters. We’ll do what we can to help any industry improve its resilience, and save water.”

Lee Dance – Head of Water Resources – South East Water

“With a growing population and changing climate the need to protect our vital water resources has never been so important.

We are delighted these organisations have signed up to the charter and will work with their members to improve their businesses resilience and reduce the irrigation and water use that could impact on supplies and the environment.”

Laura White – Projects and Research Manager – Waterwise

“Ever-growing demand for water and an increasingly extreme climate means using water wisely is more important than ever before. It is hugely encouraging to see collaboration between the leisure and water sectors through both the charters and the working group with the aim of driving greater water efficiency and resilience.

If you are a leisure facility operator, please consider signing the charter and making the commitment to move your organisation towards being more water efficient. By making this commitment you will not only be making a positive contribution to the UK’s wider environmental agenda but will also increase your organisation’s CSR credentials”.

How can you get involved?

If you are a member of one on the associations adopting the water charter, they are encouraging you to adopt the Leisure Operator Water Charter to help you access help and guidance funded by the water industry.

If you are not a member of one of these Associations, you can still access the same water company funded help and advice – simply adopt this Leisure Operator Water Charter

Sign up to the Leisure Operator Water Charter here – https://forms.office.com/r/tZV2Duks16

If you have undertaken a project that reduced your consumption, or changed your supply source away from mains or abstraction tell us via the case study MS forms https://forms.office.com/r/4vPtacLqNS

If you are an Association or NGB in the leisure sector please adopt the Leisure Association Water Charter via MS forms – https://forms.office.com/r/a4VuNY4vSg