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No 'ifs' or ‘butts’ for water wise communities

29th November 2021

Radius Housing has teamed up with NI Water to encourage tenants to become water wise, by installing over 50 water butts in the gardens of their sheltered housing schemes across Northern Ireland.


The aim of the partnership is to help residents incorporate more sustainable practices when it comes to using water and gardening. Using water butts plays a part in conserving water, by capturing rainwater for watering plants rather than using treated water from the tap, which helps to ease pressure off the water service.


NI Water provides 575 million liters of clean water daily to 1.8 million people across Northern Ireland with each person using 12 liters more per day than this time last year - which means more than 4000 liters extra a year per person. NI Water has provided the water butts as a cost- effective way to make outdoor water use more sustainable.


Radius Housing is a leading social housing provider, managing more than 13,000 homes across Northern Ireland, including sheltered accommodation for over 55s and care and residential homes. Among the many activities promoted in the sheltered accommodation, to support health and wellbeing, is gardening. This partnership is part of a wider Biodiversity Project that Radius has been running out over the past year, and Phase II of the project is looking at planting trees, re-wilding and water butts. The butts have been delivered to over 50 Radius schemes this week, including Fold Mews in Bangor.


Speaking about the partnership, Anna Killen, Education Officer at NI Water said  "With more time spent at home, individual water usage is increasing. Currently, outdoor water use accounts for around seven percent of total home water use. Water butts are an efficient way to capture and use rainwater to maintain gardens and reduce pressure on our water supply. Water is an extremely precious resource that we can easily take for granted; using water butts is one of many small changes that makes a huge difference in reducing our ecological footprint and daily water use.”


Melanie Rintoul from Radius Housing added "We all know that we get plenty of rainfall in Northern Ireland so it is amazing to put that water to good use without it having to go through the filtration system. Our residents already do a terrific job enhancing their gardens through growing and supporting wildlife. These water butts mean residents can maintain their gardens come rain or shine and enjoy their natural environment in a more sustainable way, making their gardening fingers extra green.”



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