Waterwise publishes White Paper

Posted: Friday 30th July 2010

Waterwise publishes White Paper for the Coalition Government to help them meet the challenges of climate change through wasting less water.

Water efficiency NGO Waterwise has published its own White Paper, setting out proposals for the Coalition Government to help meet the challenges of climate change through wasting less water.

The White Paper has mainstreaming water efficiency at its core. In it Waterwise sets out strategic proposals for climate change adaptation and mitigation, resource efficiency, the low carbon and green economy and the big society, over the five years from 2010 to 2015.

Waterwise Policy Director Nicci Russell said, ‘Water efficiency is an essential part of adapting to the climate change we are already seeing and helping prevent future climate change. It can also help develop the low carbon and green economy, tackle the deficit, and reduce household bills. The Coalition Government needs to place water efficiency at the heart of measures it is already taking to rise to these challenges, such as energy retrofitting schemes for homes – to ensure their maximum impact. Waterwise also proposes radical new steps the Coalition Government could take, to deliver its aims of reforming the water industry to ensure the more efficient use of water, and developing new delivery partnerships with the third sector as part of the big society. In some areas of the UK water is already scarce – and even in places where it is not defined as scarce, levels of abstraction threaten long-term supply. The North West of England, which suffered terrible flooding only months ago, now has such low reservoir levels that a hosepipe ban is being considered. Water efficiency will be needed to make sure less water goes further – at the same time cutting carbon emissions, household and private and public sector bills, developing green jobs and making homes more sustainable and comfortable.’

Among the proposals set out in the White Paper are:

• A water industry incentivised to provide services such as water efficiency to its consumers on a large scale, rather than just water supply

• A long-term investment framework for water that responds to and helps deliver national priorities, with the full long-term value of water to the economy, people and the environment reflected

• Water efficiency included in the Green Deal energy efficiency retrofitting scheme – at a cost of £40, alongside the £6,500 allocated for energy measures

• Showers to be included in social housing refurbishment and new build

• A toilet scrappage scheme to help householders trade in the 1 million toilets in England which flush at 13 litres for toilets which use a third of that water

• A water meter in every home by 2020 – supported by measures to protect vulnerable groups

• Water efficiency mainstreamed in government adaptation programmes and guidance to business, and linked with insurance discounts

• Using new green financial products such as green mortgages and a renewed Energy Performance Certificate to drive water and energy efficiency measures in homes

• Water neutrality and community-scale water provision and joint retrofitting programmes for energy, water and waste delivered through the big society

• Tackling the economy-wide barrier to sustainability which is the investment bias towards building new plant and equipment over altering and improving existing ones

Nicci went on to say, ‘We look forward to working with the Coalition Government and other partners to ensure the efficient and cost-effective delivery of their priorities. Water efficiency can help tackle climate change, adapt to it, respond to population growth, cut household bills, contribute to developing the low carbon and green economy and cut the deficit. The Coalition Government is already committed to reforming the water industry to ensure the more efficient use of water. Waterwise's proposals will help deliver this as well as wider national priorities. Water efficiency is cost-effective, can be delivered through partnerships, and responds to our own wish to waste less water.’




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