Fairness on tap for water customers

A coalition including WWF and the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM) is calling on the government to get water meters installed in 80% of homes by 2020.

The group says that a meter strategy needs to be supported by fair tariffs so that water bills are affordable for everyone.

The coalition says metering will give people an incentive to think about their usage and use water more efficiently, avoiding unnecessary water waste.

Metering must be just part of a package which also gives advice to householders on how they can reduce water and low cost adjustments to make taps, toilets and showers water efficient to make the proposals work.

CIWEM executive director Nick Reeves said: “The fairest way to pay for water is to each pay for what we actually use.

“At the moment those who are water wise are footing the bill for the most wasteful users. The Fairness on Tap initiative aligns strongly with CIWEM’s beliefs that we need increased household metering, increased awareness of the value of water and a change in behaviour by consumers.

“It is inconceivable that for other goods such as food and fuel, there would be a ‘consume all you can’ policy, so why is it different for water?”

The coalition wants to see these issued addressed by the government’s Water White Paper, which is due for publication in the summer.

Defra published a summary this month of responses to an online survey as part of a public consultation on the Water White Paper.

On metering it concluded: “Respondents looked favourably on metering. Many of them saw the use of water metering both as a positive change to the way that bills are paid for and as a means to encourage water conservation.”

You can read the Fairness on Tap Coalition ‘Making the Case for Metering’ document at www.fairnessontap.org.uk.

Alison Brown

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