LAST WORD: We have to save water

Yvonne Orgill

BMA CEO warns you have no option but to support the Water Label

The latest estimates suggest that Europe is heading towards a drought and it will run dry in 2050. By then there simply won’t be enough drinking water to support us all. The population is growing fast and so too is our love of water-consuming devices. It’s a no-win situation, so doing nothing is not an option and our leaders in the EU have pledged to act and they want to change our behaviour towards water and our tendency to waste it.

There is no doubt about it - water is firmly on the EU agenda. Water labelling (just like energy labelling) describes how much a particular product will consume if used correctly. Currently, the Water Label, devised and developed by the BMA, is the leading system throughout Europe. The beauty of the Water Label is that it is a voluntary scheme, free of government interference. And because of that is simple and cost effective. Manufacturers, merchants and retailers contribute to the scheme and its costs are low. By the end of this year it will have seen massive growth and more than 8,000 individual products will be listed in its on-line database.

The alternative, favoured by some in the EU Commission, is a mandatory scheme called ECODESIGN which is backed by legislation and run by the civil service. The scheme would be managed by people who don’t understand the bathroom industry and gross errors, similar to the electric light bulb fiasco, could be made. The system would be gagged with red tape and because it would be a ‘one size fits all’ scheme, it would level all in the EU to a starting point, which ignores the diversity of both regional cultures and plumbing systems.

So we have a choice: 1) Support the Water Label and become a Scheme Partner 2) Ignore it all and let the bureaucrats move in and set costs rocketing. Scheme Partners are invited from all sectors of the water and bathroom industry to participate in  cohesive marketing to promote the Water Label. The scheme is growing fast and major builders, retailers and manufacturers have publicly announced their support. The ultimate aim is to develop the European Water Label which is easily understood by all, offers choice to the consumer and by being voluntary is self-governed and cost effective. Doing nothing is not an option. 

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