Government has announced proposals for a mandatory water label for bathroom and kitchen products, as part of its approach to reduce water demand and meet the requirements of its 25-Year Environment Plan.
The water label will be designed to help people make informed choices about how they can save water and be similar to the traffic light energy efficiency labels.
The mandatory water label forms part of a series of measures, introduced by Environment Secretary The Rt Hon George Eustice MP, for households across England to use water more efficiently and to protect supplies for the future.
These include encouraging local authorities to adopt a tighter standard of water use in new build homes and developing a roadmap towards greater water efficiency in developments and through retrofits.
The plans will see 110 litres of water per person per day as the standard of water use in new homes, compared with the current standard of 125 litres, requiring developers to install more water efficient fixtures and fittings.
In addition, the measures include greater water efficiency in new developments and through retrofits such as rainwater harvesting, water re-use and storage options.
Plus, water companies will be asked to develop a consistent approach on fixing supply pipe leakage, with around 25% of leakage having been from customer supply pipes over the last 10 years.
Environment minister Rebecca Pow said: “We often take our supply of clean and plentiful water for granted.
“We must all work harder to tackle the pressures on our water resources by understanding and challenging ourselves on how much water we need to use in our daily lives.
“While I have been clear that water companies must up their game and take urgent action in reducing leakage, this new package of measures will help us all to use less water.
“We’re known for our wet weather in this country, but there’s much to do to ensure we have a resilient water supply now and for future generations.”
The Unified Water Label Association (UWLA) welcomed the ministerial statement on reducing water use.
UWLA MD Yvonne Orgill commented: “We welcome this announcement and the importance that the Government is now placing on the sustainability message.
“We are looking forward to working with the Government and taking forward our industry water label.”
She continued: “The Unified Water Label is tried and tested in the market place. It is robust and meets all the demands of the environmental bill.
“It has been developed by the industry, by working together we have made significant progress taking on board the challenges and driving forward changes in opinion and habits in consumers.
“If we can continue to work collectively towards a common goal, I am confident that with Government support we can make the Unified Water Label a mandatory solution that works for the industry and the consumer.”
The Bathroom Manufacturers Association announced its support of the label, which is already in use, as CEO Tom Reynolds said: “BMA and its members are committed to working with Government to develop and implement any new mandatory UK requirement.
“The Unified Water Label is tried and tested, and already backed by industry, providing an efficient and effective way for Government to ensure consumers are fully informed, and it will avoid the confusion of double labelling.
“More than two thirds of domestic water use is used in the bathroom, and manufacturers are ready to lead the way in helping everyone reduce their water use.”