Water think tank to keep working on efficiency

A think tank set up two years ago to look at greater water efficiency in the UK is to keep up the good work for another year.

The Water Saving Group brings together Ofwat, the Environment Agency, the Consumer council for Water, Defra, Water UK, Waterwise and communities and local government and this week Environment Minister Phil Woolas confirmed it would continue to operate throughout 2008.

The group has helped to drive forward a number of initiatives in the first two years of its existence and members decided it was worth pushing on with the programme.

"Water is a valuable resource," said Mr Woolas, publishing a revised action plan for the group.

"Our supply is limited, but pressure on it is likely to keep rising. We have to be cleverer about how we use water, and that means being more efficient and wasting less.

"The Water Saving Group has scored some important successes towards helping this happen, and not least that a range of organisations, each with its own priorities, has continued to engage constructively and find common ground for making progress on water efficiency.

"That alone is evidence of how very important this issue is now, and will become increasingly, as stress on our water resources increases.

"The work we are planning for the year ahead will take these successes and build on them. It's an ambitious and innovative programme and I am grateful to colleagues on the group for the leadership they are showing in taking it forward."

The overarching aim of the group is to reduce the current level of per capita consumption in households.

Members have agreed to work together on a package of measures, each covering different aspects of water efficiency.

These include mandatory water efficiency targets for water companies, working on rainwater harvesting and grey-water recycling and looking at ways to improve water efficiency in buildings.

Sam Bond



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