With approximately 90,000 litres of rain falling on the average UK roof every year, landscaping can play a pivotal role in preventing homes and communities from flooding.
The water company′s ‘Rainwise′ initiative is raising awareness about how North East homeowners can help manage rainwater and reduce their own impact on the sewer network, by starting in the garden.
Small-scale solutions, such as creating a rain garden or adding planters and shrubs can help to soak up rainfall naturally and slow its flow into the drains.
The use of nature-based solutions to help solve the problems of flooding and pollution is the theme for this year′s World Water Day.
Established in 1993 by the United Nations General Assembly, the global organisation is sharing its thoughts about managing our most precious resource, by doing more with green infrastructure, such as planting new forests and restoring wetlands.
As part of Rainwise, Northumbrian Water is working with its partners and communities in areas across the region to explore opportunities to install large-scale sustainable drainage solutions, as well as encouraging small-scale solutions at home.
This may include swales - grassy drainage channels to divert water, or grassed basins that store water temporarily. They have wider social and environmental benefits, including providing a green space in urban areas and creating valuable wildlife habitats.
Richard Warneford, Wastewater Director, said: "On World Water Day, we′d like to remind our customers that each and every yard, roof and home across our region can be Rainwise.
"With more extremes of weather and gardens being increasingly built over, it′s more important than ever for homeowners to make small changes to how they use their green space.
"We know how devastating flooding can be and we′re committed to reducing the risk of it happening in our region in future.
"We′re working with our partners and communities to look for large-scale and small-scale sustainable solutions that will complement our traditional infrastructure and help reduce the risk of flooding on both an individual property level, and in communities as a whole."
Using water wisely around the home is another way to help free up capacity in the network to reduce flood risk, as well as saving water and money.
This Water Saving Week (19 - 23 March), the directors of Northumbrian Water are challenging themselves to use no more than 50 litres of water a day, to understand what the water-crisis in Cape Town is like.
Customers can follow their experience on Northumbrian Water′s Twitter page (@NorthumbrianH2O) and Facebook (www.fb.com/northumbrianwater/)
For more information and tips on how to be Rainwise, visit www.nwl.co.uk/rainwise.