Environment Agency looks into setting up water saving trust

The Environment Agency has awarded a contract to Environmental Resources Management (ERM) to look into the possibilities of setting up a Water Saving Trust for England and Wales.

This was identified by the Agency as an issue to be explored in its Water Resources Strategy of 2001, and there was considerable debate on the need for more water conservation during the passage of the Water Bill through Parliament last year.

It is believed that the Water Saving Trust could operate in a similar manner to the Energy Saving Trust which was set up in 1992, and works to deliver energy efficiency for domestic customers. The Agency's head of water resources, Ian Barker, said:

"There is a clear parallel with energy. Water is probably as important now as energy was in 1992, following the Earth Summit in Rio. We need to look at the possible role of a new central body facilitating water efficiency for customers. The links with energy need to be explored. For example, using less hot water in showers, washing machines and dishwashers saves energy too."

ERM will be reviewing water efficiency in England and Wales, identifying duplications and gaps, and exploring possible funding models.

The Agency is also keen to obtain the views of stakeholders to inform the work on options and funding models.

David Hopkins



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