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Westminster environment guidance - Section B

Find information on carbon and pollution reduction, as well as urban greening.

Section B - water efficiency

London is one of the most water stressed cities in the world. Urban water stress as experienced in Westminster is when the water demand is greater than the amount that is available for consumption.

The Thames Water Water Resources Management Plan 2014 projects that by 2040 there will be a shortfall of 414 million litres a day for consumers in their region. Londoners on average consume 8 litres of water per day more than the national average. 

Westminster’s evening and nighttime economy attracts many local, regional and national visitors, creating much higher water demands. Therefore, we must ensure that the buildings serving this sector conserve water sustainably.

The London Plan and our City Plan set out water efficiency standards for residential development of 105 litres or less per person per day. The table below illustrates either the capacity of the fitting or its recommended rate of water flow.

Recommended capacity or water flow of fittings in residential homes

Fitting (Residential Development)

Maximum Consumption


4/2.6 litres


8 litres per minute

Basin taps

170 litres

Sink Taps

5 litres per minute


6 litres per minute

Washing Machine

1.25 litres per place setting


170 litres

In both residential and non-residential development, full BREEAM Water credits should be achieved and the sustainability statement should set out how the development will incorporate the following measures:

  • smart metering
  • water saving
  • water recycling

Published: 10 January 2023

Last updated: 10 January 2023