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Surface water management is helping Anglian Water to Make Rain Happy

Make Rain Happy logo

Water threads its way through all of the challenges and opportunities faced across the East of England. Of all the natural assets we need to harness, it is the most important. 

With climate change making heavy downpours and the risk of flooding more likely, Anglian Water is looking at sustainable ways to manage the rain where it lands. Such an approach to managing surface water is needed to ensure our region is resilient enough to deal with this.

By using things called Sustainable Drainage Systems, also known as SuDS, we, and our customers, can help reduce and slow the rainwater entering our sewers. Swales, basins, ponds, water butts and rain gardens are just some of the solutions available to help us slow the flow and retain more rain.

These solutions offer a low-tech and inexpensive way to manage surface water. Retaining water in the environment is better for our sewers and better for nature. Plants help filter and clean the surface water naturally, before it is restored to the rivers and watercourses.

The things we want to see; new jobs and homes, a beautiful environment and a thriving economy driven by research and enterprise; all require resilient infrastructure and excellent surface water management. And these go to the heart of our ethos that we should manage surface water in the most sustainable way that will best serve our customers.

Of course, this is a multifaceted, multi-stakeholder issue, so we will continue to work with our partners to deliver ever more effective surface water management.

Make Rain Happy

What is Make Rain Happy?

Our aim is to provoke excitement and positivity for surface water management.

Our Make Rain Happy campaign will bring the management of surface water and drainage to life and translate this in a way that everyone can understand and engage with.

We hope to capture the minds of our customers and communities as well as key influencers like councils, landowners and our employees.

How does this fit with our wider plans?

Make Rain Happy will be at the forefront of our 25 year plan to manage surface water more effectively and sustainably.

Over the next 25 years, we hope to:

  • Disconnect 1 million downspouts
  • Plant 1 million street trees, shrubs and plants, in collaboration with partners
  • Educate 500,000 school children and fit SuDS to every school across our region
  • Provide funding to local communities to manage surface water sustainably
  • Ensure our own buildings and land manage surface water sustainably
  • Significantly reduce the cost of SuDS delivery.

What are the benefits of our approach to Make Rain Happy?

Everyone can benefit from introducing SuDS to their homes and communities and everyone can get involved!

We hope that by installing SuDS features across many areas we can all help to:

  • Bring all of us closer to water
  • Create new habitats in urban, built up areas, creating new homes and environments for animals and plants
  • Reduce flooding from heavy rain storms
  • Reduce pollution of our waterways
  • Improve the bathing water of our beaches
  • Enable new homes to be built for our children by freeing up space in the sewer system
  • Reduce the amount of electricity we use to pump rainwater around our flat region
  • Reduce the amount of carbon we use to operate our drainage networks.

Many SuDS can also become focal points for communities, greening up streets and creating nicer places to live, work and play.

They can also help us all to save money, by using rainwater to wash our car, water our plants, and in some cases, flush our toilets.

Current projects

To find information on the projects we’re currently involved in, please click on the links below:

All Saints Primary School, Newmarket
Our Innovation Shop Window, Newmarket
Susdrain (a CIRIA project for spreading best practice related to SuDS)


Want to become involved, or want more information?

For further information, or if you want to become involved in our Make Rain Happy initiative, then please contact us at


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