Northern experts wade into water meter debate

Environment Agency experts from the North of England have joined the national debate on universal water metering, saying that most households should be fitted meters.

The North West Regional Environment Protection Advisory Committee says that while there may be exceptional circumstances that rule out metering in a particular property, the vast majority of homes should be fitted with a water meter.

The call follows REPAC’s discussions on Defra’s latest projections for climate change (UKCP09) and the Environment Agency’s Water Resources Strategy.

This support follows recent warnings from the Environment Agency that consumers must reduce their water use to help avert severe shortages due to climate change and population growth.

One of the ways in which this could be achieved is through near-universal water metering.

However, the Environment Agency has stated that metering should be accompanied by suitable tariffs to provide an incentive to reduce use and to protect vulnerable groups.

Although climate change will lead to more frequent heavy downpours and increase the risk of flooding, overall it will reduce the amount of water available in rivers in England and Wales by ten to 15 per cent by 2050, and up to as much as 80 per cent during summer months.

This means that we all need to use water wisely now to ensure that there is enough water available for us and our environment.

In the North West, households with a water meter fitted use about 20% less water than those who don’t have a meter fitted.

Having a water meter fitted can allow people to monitor their water consumption which can help save money and protect the environment.

Derek Norman, chair of North West REPAC said: “From big business to individual households, we need to use less water as climate change and population growth mean there may not be enough water in the future for people and the environment unless we start planning and acting now. ”

David Gibbs

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie