The government’s 25 year environment plan, launched in January, outlines how the government wishes to see water use fall through water companies taking “bold action to reduce water demands, both now and in the future”.
Waterwise reports on two initiative designed to encourage people to use less water – developing a communications platform for water efficiency and setting a per capita consumption target.
Creating a UK Communications Platform for Water Efficiency
In July representatives from all the UK water companies, as well as government, regulators and Water UK, came together at the invitation of the Waterwise Leadership Group on Water Efficiency and Customer Participation to discuss developing a UK communications platform for water efficiency.
The idea is to create a consistent brand and website to set out the ‘why’ for water efficiency as well as the ‘how’, which will underpin targeted campaigns. The platform will support the use of consistent messaging, facts, figures and content across all companies and wider stakeholder engagement with customers and the media.
The output from the workshop will be used to shape the detail on how the platform will look, feel and function.
Defra Per Capita Consumption Workshop
Defra held a workshop in July with water companies, regulators, consultants and other NGOs to discuss a Per Capita Consumption (PCC) target. A key action outlined in the Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan action for England is to “work with industry to determine appropriate targets for personal water consumption and the measures needed to achieve them.”
Waterwise believes that setting an ambitious target will help water companies, government and other stakeholders to work with the public to reduce water consumption for the environment, society and the economy. Average per capita consumption is currently 140 litres per person per day and Waterwise thinks that all water companies in England and Wales should be aiming for a PCC of 100 litres/day or less by 2045, and around 50 litres in 50 years’ time.
Waterwise also suggested that Ofwat could introduce a target for performance commitments on PCC – potentially a 10% reduction by 2025.