Southern Water wins Civil Engineering ‘Oscar’ for metering scheme

Southern Water was awarded the Chris Binnie Award for Sustainable Water Management for their metering scheme.

(L to R) Chris Binne, ICE Water Panel, Meyrick Gough, Southern Water and David Balmforth, ICE President
(L to R) Chris Binne, ICE Water Panel, Meyrick Gough, Southern Water and David Balmforth, ICE President

Southern Water has been awarded the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) Chris Binnie Award for Sustainable Water Management, which recognises actions and innovations within the water sector that have benefited society by improving the sustainability of water over the past two years.

The West Sussex based company received the award for their universal water-metering programme which has delivered huge water savings of 30 million litres a day across the South East – enough water to meet the daily demand of Worthing and Hastings combined.

The Chris Binnie Award is a new category in ICE's prestigious annual Awards ceremony, created to celebrate the contribution of water engineers. The Award was presented in Westminster today (9 October) by BBC journalist Alice Bhandhukravi and ICE President Professor David Balmforth.

Over five years Southern Water has installed nearly half a million state of the art water meters across the region, which also include automatic leak detection facility, allowing a further saving of 7 million litres per day. The University of Southampton has calculated that Southern Water's customers are on average using 60 litres per household per day less water. This represents a huge 16.5% reduction - far more than the predicted national average of 10% when meters are installed.

An innovative flood project in South Wales, delivered by Arup and Morgan Sindall also received the award alongside Southern Water.

Meyrick Gough, Southern Water strategy manager commented: "It's an honour to be recognised at a national level - sustainable water management is vital for the future of our society and I am thrilled that our universal programme has made such an impact.

"I am proud that our work has created a vibrant and evidence based debate around metering and thrilled our customers have embraced the fact that reducing water use can have a positive impact on both the environment and on their bills."

Chris Binnie, ICE Fellow and ICE Water Expert Panel member, added: "Becoming more sustainable in our management of water is vital for the future of our society. I am delighted that ICE, of which I have been a fellow for almost 40 years, has recognised this. Both winning schemes are at the forefront of technology and the winners are to be congratulated on what they have achieved."

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