Funding for Rainwater Harvesting

There are multiple grants and schemes available for sustainable water technologies. At present these grant only apply to commercial use with no domestic grants currently available. Full details of these grants are listed below.

The Water Technology List

First published in 2003, The Government’s Water Technology List (WTL) aims to promote products that actively encourage sustainable, commercial water use. Businesses are rewarded for using these products through the Enhanced Capital Allowance (ECA) scheme. The ECA allows businesses to offset any expenditure used for purchasing eligible plant and machinery against its taxable profits.

Water Technology List freeflush

New technologies are added to the list based on the following criteria; satisfactory methods of performance, certification and ease of identification and cost-effectiveness. For a new technology to be considered for the list an application must be made that fulfils these criteria; full details of how an applicant should proceed can be found on the Water Technology List website. This list is reviewed on an annual basis, if a new product has been approved during this time it will appear on the website following the annual publication.

The Enhanced Capital Allowance (ECA) scheme

The enhanced capital allowance scheme is open to businesses of all sizes. The scheme allows businesses to claim back the cost associated with the purchase of equipment against taxable profits in the year of purchase. This is designed to provide an incentive to invest in energy-saving equipment which normally carries a price premium particularly when compared to less efficient alternatives.

To be eligible for the ECA certain criteria are put in place depending on which technology your business is planning to utilise;  for example for efficient rainwater harvesting solutions the products are limited to the following

  • The product must apply to non-drinking water applications in any building such as the flushing of toilets or for the use of washing machines;
  • Process or cooling water in industry or cleaning water; 
  • Irrigation, wash down or feed water in agriculture and horticulture; 
  • The end use of the water must not be for drinking, personal hygiene, brushing teeth or food and drink preparation.

An ECA must be claimed in the business's income or corporation tax return of the period during which the purchase is made (the same tax year).Funding can only be claimed on the purchase of technologies that are listed on the Water Technology List at the time they are bought so it’s important to check that the item is on the list prior to purchasing it if you intend to claim.

Countryside Stewardship Scheme

Both farmers and land managers are eligible to apply for a grant of up to £6800 under the countryside stewardship scheme. The government recognises that custodians of the land have an important role to play in water management and sustainability and have seeked to engage these landowners in in industry best practice with financial incentives available to those that apply.

Countryside stewardship DEFRA

The scheme is broken down into various categories; examples of these are as follows.

Rainwater Goods

This applies to the installation of new guttering and downpipes prevent the discharge of clean water on to fouled yard areas, which in turn helps reduce risk of water pollution. The maximum payment for this scheme is £11.40 per metre.

Underground Storage Tanks

This grant applies to the installation of underground storage tanks that will collect and contain rainwater, preventing it from mixing with potentially dirty water elsewhere on the land. The clean water can then be used for a number of applications that would otherwise use potable water resources. The maximum payment for this scheme is £350 per cubic metre.

Above Ground Tanks

Similar to the underground storage tanks this grant applies to the installation of above ground storage tanks that will collect and contain rainwater, preventing it from mixing with potentially dirty water. The maximum payment for this scheme is £100 per cubic metre.

First Flush Rainwater Diverters and Downpipe Filters

This scheme applies to the installation of the necessary equipment to divert potentially contaminated roof water out of storage tanks and clean water drains. The water can then be filtered prior to use on a number of tasks rather than using potable water supplies from elsewhere.  The maximum payment for this grant is £125 per unit.

All of the grants that are part of the countryside stewardship scheme have individual criteria that also need to be met prior to any funding being approved. Full details of these conditions can be found on the HMRC website.