The University has set an ambitious new target to reduce water consumption by 50% by 2030, against a 2010 baseline.

Water use has been reduced by eliminating leaks through replacing aging pipework and working alongside the Living Lab project to invest in metering and encouraging behaviour change.

For the latest KPIs and progress, please see our Water Management Plan and annual reports.

Water use

The installation of a new ring main, which replaced aging pipework serving the Cranfield campus, significantly reduced leaks. This met the original 10% reduction target set for 2020, so a more challenging target was set. The Living Lab project is helping with investment in metering, as well as a PhD project investigating shower usage and behaviour change. Current activities for reducing water use include:

  • Harvesting rainwater or reusing water for plants and lawns on campus;
  • Auditing leaking taps and appliances;
  • Fitting water saving devices on sinks and toilets on campus, such as dual flushes and water saving taps;
  • Trialling shower monitors in selected halls of residence blocks.

Please refer to our Water Management Policy and Water Management Plan for further information.

Behaviour change

We encourage staff and students to take action to save water whilst on campus. Ways in which staff and students can help include:

  • Reporting leaking toilets and taps to facilities management. If using a tap, make sure it is turned off properly after use. If you have further suggestions reducing water consumption on campus, please contact our team.
  • If you are based in accommodation on campus, keep shower times to five minutes or less, only wash laundry on full loads, turn off the tap whilst brushing your teeth, and use a washing up bowl instead of rinsing under the tap whilst washing up.

Further information

Having a clock in your shower could help to reduce water consumption
Sustainable Development Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitation

Sewage works

We operate our own sewage works at the Cranfield campus which processes the majority of our wastewater on site. This unique facility is also used by us and partner organisations for teaching and research purposes. During 2014 improvements were made to the monitoring, alarm and metering equipment at the sewage works to ensure we remain within consent levels for all effluent discharges.

Chicheley Brook

Flowing through the Cranfield campus is the Chichelely Brook. This waterway provides excellent opportunities to support biodiversity enhancement on campus but is also at risk of pollution incidents due to all drainage from the campus ultimately reaching the brook. As such, we place strict requirements on the waste liquids that can be discharged to our on-site drainage network.