Don't be a drip

We take water efficiency seriously, as Norfolk is one of the driest areas of the UK.


Norwich receives the same average annual rainfall as Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and half as much as Sydney, Australia.

Significant amounts of energy and chemicals are used to treat and pump drinking water – which has an environmental impact, including greenhouse gas (GHG) emission. UEA’s annual water supply and disposal costs are approximately £750,000. When combined with the unknown potential costs of exposure to climate change risks, there are significant incentives to reduce water waste.


In one year, fewer than 100 dripping taps could fill our Olympic-sized swimming pool.

water infographic


How do I stop wasting water?

  • Don't overfill your kettle when making a hot drink, only boil what you need.
  • Use a cup or fill the sink rather than leaving the tap running when you are brushing your teeth, shaving or washing your hands or face.
  • Take shorter showers.
  • Wash your clothes only when they are dirty, not just because you have worn them once… but be hygienic!
  • Keep cool water in the fridge so that you don't need to run water down the sink to have a cold drink.
  • Join the Sustainability Network and be a water efficiency champion!


Please report any leaks or drips to the Estates Helpdesk


Water-saving innovation

The SCI teaching laboratories in the Schools of Chemistry and Pharmacy are combining best practice and innovation to improve the sustainability of facilities and activities. Matthew Bennett is a Senior Technician in the CHE and PHA Teaching Labs. As part of Green Impact 2015/16, he has worked with equipment suppliers Radley’s to produce an innovative new combination of elements that waste zero water and are also incredibly energy efficient.

The multi-reflux apparatus eliminates the use of water for cooling by using the ‘Findenser’ in place of conventional water condensers. Based on current practices in the teaching laboratory, this saves 10 litres of water in 5 minutes. It represents a projected saving of 30,000 litres of water per year: equivalent to over half of an average person’s yearly water consumption. The multiple flask baseplate reduces the energy required for heating by 40%, whilst also saving precious space and equipment in bustling laboratory sessions.

The ‘StarFin’ was piloted in a 2nd year Chemistry laboratory course, where students were given the opportunity give feedback on the design and its sustainability benefits.


Smart Condensing 

The Chemistry and Pharmacy Laboratories ‘SmartCondensing’ initiative has gone on to create the potential to save 264,780 litres of water per year. To put that into perspective, it is about the same amount of water it would take to fill almost 3,000 baths — that’s a bath a day for over 8 years.

The SmartCondensing initiative consists of three pieces of equipment, focused around condensing processes. They are the CondenSyn, the Rotary Evaporator and the award winning StarFin. Chemistry and Pharmacy have focused on this area because condensing processes traditionally use large amounts of water, at about 150 litres per hour on average.

Winner of the national 2016 institutional Green Gown Award for Research and Development, the StarFin has the potential to save 150,480 litres of water per year.