02nd Apr 2019


The BMA has responded to a recent statement from Sir James Bevan, chief executive of the Environment Agency, on ways to reduce average water consumption in England from 140 litres per person per day to 100 litres, by claiming that a voluntary not a mandatory water label is the best solution.

BMA CEO Yvonne Orgill said, “ Whilst the Environment Agency are right to raise this issue and we support their efforts, the BMA does not believe that a mandatory water label scheme and controls via building regulations will lead to the required changes in consumer behaviour.

“There is already a water label for bathroom products in the market place which provide information on water consumption, helping consumers to make more informed decisions.  The Unified Water Label (UWL) is a voluntary scheme that is currently used by over 155 brands and registered with more than 13,200 products across Europe. 

“The UWL provides a clear and simple system to identify water saving products. Choosing UWL products, which are then installed and used correctly, will deliver environmental and cost-saving benefits, without any loss in performance for consumers.

“A mandatory label will be expensive for the government and is likely to be a ‘one size fits all’ solution in order to deal with the complexities of different products, consumer behaviours and the varied types of water pressure in UK homes.

“We must also look at how consumers select and use their bathroom products as there is huge scope to save water by changing their habits. 

“For example, homes that still have a WC that is more than 20 years old will be using twice as much water per flush as a modern dual flush WC. Recent research into consumer behaviour in the bathroom by the BMA found that people flush the WC on average 8 times per person per day - there is a potential saving of 32 litres per person per day by just switching to a modern WC.  The government’s target is to reduce water consumption by 40 litres per person per day so this one change would almost meet this target.” 

Yvonne launched a BMA campaign to promote this message and raise awareness about the Unified Water Label, (UWL) to mark World Water Day on Friday 22 March.

The campaign has already reached around 27 million listeners across a number of different radio stations from the interviews that Yvonne conducted.  Yvonne directed consumers to the BMA website and a number simple whiteboard videos have been produced to help consumers understand what the UWL means.The new videos can be found on the BMA website here

< back