Metering ‘could bring major water savings’ – report

Incentives for water-efficient measures and water metering would make significant water savings in the water starved South East, the Environment Agency has said.

If all existing homes had water meters and financial incentives were provided for householders to install water saving measures in their bathrooms, the south east region could save at least 65 megalitres of water a day – equivalent to 26 swimming pools.

This is roughly equivalent to the water demand to be produces by new development in the Thames Gateway and Ashford areas, the EA said in the Water efficiency in the south east of England – Retrofitting existing homes report.

“Our water environment is already under pressure in some parts of the south east – and with future housing and population growth, there will be more pressure on the finite amount of water available,” EA chief executive Barbara Young said.

Schemes combining metering with water saving measures such as low flow showers are most efficient at reducing water waste, she said.

“Current consultations on compulsory water metering and water efficiency regulations in new buildings highlight the necessary steps being taken by Government to manage water demand. But the real challenge is to improve water efficiency in existing homes to help offset increased demand from new housing,” she said.

“Many UK homes have old loos flushing nine litres of water or more. In fact, each of us flushes away about a third of all the water we use – in real terms, around five buckets of water a day. Yet there are low or dual flush toilets and retrofit kits on the market that use as little as three litres.

“It makes sense to convert old toilets to flush less, or if a replacement is planned anyway, provide a subsidy to make the replacement as water efficient as possible.”

The full report can be accessed via the Environment Agency website.

Goska Romanowicz

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