Waterwise welcomes focus on water efficiency in adaptation report

Posted: Friday 22nd October 2010

Waterwise, the leading UK authority on water efficiency, today welcomed the focus on water efficiency in the Adaptation Sub-Committee’s first national assessment for government of how well prepared the UK is for climate change.

Water efficiency measures help tackle climate change, as well as adapt to it. Five percent of total UK greenhouse gas emissions in the UK come from heating water in homes, and water companies contribute about one percent. Wasting less hot water reduces carbon emissions, and wasting less cold water reduces emissions from the water sector which pumps and treats water and wastewater.

Waterwise Policy Director Nicci Russell said “We are delighted that this report recognises the central importance of water efficiency in the UK’s plans to adapt to climate change. The two major impacts of climate change are floods and droughts, but time after time advice and plans from government and the private sector focus on flood risk management without so much as a nod to the fact that less water will need to go further. Every sector of the economy is dependent on water, so it makes clear economic, social and environmental sense to waste less water in office buildings and factories, and in future plans for infrastructure and communities. Action now will reduce costs later - and water efficiency can cut water and energy bills immediately, helping with deficit reduction, including in government departments, the NHS and the MOD.”

The report makes it clear that water efficiency will need to be mainlined into building design and renovation, land-use planning and other processes – and points out the critical role of government in making the market work for adaptation and “enabling organisations to move up the adaptation ladder”. Waterwise looks forward to the Coalition Government acting on these recommendations, and to seeing water efficiency taking its rightful place in the adaptation plans of the public sector and the advice it offers to others. As the report shows, there is a long way to go before the UK will be adequately prepared for the impacts of climate change.

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