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Yvonne Orgill, MD at the Unified Water Label (UWL) comments on the 2020 budget.

“The promises of substantial investment in infrastructure and housing are welcome, as are the measures to combat climate change but the coronavirus crisis and the government advice on washing hands thoroughly, brings into sharp focus the issues around using water wisely.

“The levels of investment promised by Chancellor Rishi Sunak were impressive.  A £30bn package to combat the negative impact of the coronavirus on the economy. £27bn of investment in infrastructure and a £12bn five-year affordable housing programme.

“The government hopes that these measures will help SME businesses deal with the short term impact of the coronavirus and boost the economy to halt the turmoil in the markets.

“Whilst dealing with coronavirus is the most immediate priority, focusing on climate change and the need to use water wisely, the world’s most precious resource, must not be ignored.

“It is my hope that we can encourage companies to use the UWL Water Calculator which contains information on water consumption for hundreds of products, enabling quick and easy specification, as the new housing programme gets underway.”

The Bathroom Manufacturers Association has launched a campaign to promote awareness of a water label for bathroom products that will help save water.

The campaign was launched to mark World Water Day on 22nd March, the same week that the Environment Agency said that England could face a “jaws of death” situation in which there would not be enough clean water unless urgent action was taken to cut usage.

BMA CEO Yvonne Orgill said, “The Environment Agency are right to raise this issue but 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.

“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.”

The BMA has produced a number of videos that will help consumers understand what the UWL means and make them think about how they use water in their bathroom. The new videos can be found on the BMA website here.

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