The launch of the Water’s Worth Saving campaign by Waterwise and Water UK is welcome and timely. The Government has just released a paper on water supply and demand management, and a committee of MPs warns there is a “serious risk” some parts of England will run out of water within 20 years.
There is no doubt that we are facing a global water challenge. According to the UN, billions of people are still living without safe water. Water scarcity remains a global problem because there is a finite supply, and with less rain falling, and significant growth in the population, there is greater demand for water.
Whilst the Covid-19 epidemic has brought some positive changes for climate change, the combination of people spending all their time at home and the very dry weather has created a water shortage, with water companies in some areas reporting that people are using 20-40% more water whilst staying at home.
With 13% of all water used being in the domestic environment and 60% of this in the bathroom, there is great potential for using water more wisely in the bathroom to have a positive impact.
In the home it is the consumer that controls the amount of water used, the industry can provide water-efficient products but unless we educate the user on how to use them responsibly, we will not reduce water wastage. Likewise providing the consumer with a product that limits the amount of water and reduces the efficiency and enjoyment of the experience will also have a negative impact.
The bathroom industry has already taken action by developing its own labelling scheme, The Unified Water Label (UWL). This is an easy to understand smart tool that can help consumers make an informed choice about the bathroom products they select for their homes and provide manufacturers with a means to promote products that have been designed to be water and energy-efficient.
When used with innovative products, the UWL can deliver the ‘package’ of measures to help users understand their water use and influence behaviour change, but ensure the right solution is there for those that need it.
More information about the UWL, along with details on how to register products and the opportunity for them to be included in a directory can be found here www.europeanwaterlabel.eu
This guest blog was written by Yvonne Orgill, MD at Unified Water Label