Water firms urged to scale up efficiency ambition

Water companies must scale up ambition and innovation in their water efficiency programmes with customers, according to not-for-profit organisation Waterwise.

The group has this week launched its water efficiency strategy, which sets out a blueprint for water efficiency in the UK.

The report recommends that regulators ensure their high ambition for water efficiency is “reflected in their analysis of company plans”, and that all companies support the 110 litres per person per day water efficiency standard in new homes in areas of water-stress.

Waterwise also suggested a national water efficiency communication platform is needed, along with more research on how to develop a water-saving culture. It also urged the water sector to improve the information made available to customers on the water efficiency of products they buy.

Speaking at the launch, Waterwise managing director Nicci Russell said: “This strategy sets out a vision for what a water-efficient UK could look like – with all of us really valuing water, and using it wisely every day. Lots of great stuff is happening already, but we need more innovation and ambition, and I’m really delighted that partners across the sector have agreed actions to help us deliver our strategy.

“In coming decades, we’re going to be kicking ourselves if we’ve only dabbled in wasting less water – meaning less to go around for people, the economy and the environment. Without water, none of these things can function.

“And it’s down to all of us to take action to drive more water efficiency – governments, regulators, water companies, manufacturers, businesses, workplaces, and all of us in our homes and gardens. It’s totally doable if we work together – and that’s what we’re going to do. We’re aiming high in water efficiency, together.

“The water efficiency strategy for the UK is a great opportunity to deliver more ambitious water efficiency in partnership – building on work to date.”

Ofwat chief executive Cathryn Ross said: “It’s really clear that far more ambitious water efficiency will need to be a key part of how the water sector delivers resilient and affordable services to its customers, now and in the future.

“Water efficiency is a key strategic issue – and one that is entirely in line with the sector’s drive to become more customer-led. I’m delighted that Waterwise and the sector are working together to help establish new frontiers on water efficiency.”

Earlier this month, the UK water industry, with support from Waterwise, established a new leadership group to encourage the use of “more ambitious” water efficiency programmes which track and drive improvement in customer service.

Lois Vallely

This article first appeared on edie’s sister title website, Utility Week

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