Walker's Report On Water

27/09/2010 | Anna Walker's final report of her Independent Review into Charging for Household Water and Sewerage Services was published in December 2009. The review is concerned with charges for domestic users of water and sewerage services. Its conclusions are therefore likely to be of interest to householders, landlords, water and waste water industries and of course to plumbers and installers. Government will decide which of the Report's recommendations it will take forward. A welcome from the BMA The Bathroom Manufacturers Association has welcomed the report since it looks into an area which has been at the top of the BMA agenda for many years, Water Efficiency. At 240 pages the report is a lengthy read but amongst its many conclusions it recommends that water should become more valued. It suggests that water efficiency should be encouraged through incentives such as increased use of water meters. It recommends a national campaign to ensure we are all aware of the need to use water wisely and efforts should be made to encourage plumbers and heating engineers to help householders to improve the water efficiency of their homes. The report goes on to recommend the adoption of a water efficient product labelling scheme to show the water efficiency credentials of household appliances and bathroom fixtures and fittings. Great News "This is great news for the BMA," commented Yvonne Orgill, chief executive of the Bathroom Manufacturers Association. "The report clearly shows that our members – about 75 well known bathroom brands – have been ahead of government thinking for a number years. Our labelling scheme was devised over three years ago, it was launched to the trade in 2007 and has just recently seen a major upgrade." She went on to say that "quite clearly the BMA's Water Efficient Product Labelling Scheme is well ahead of the curve, is an industry leader and is well placed to become the national standard." Labelling Scheme and its Products The scheme is a 'web enabled' database of the all the very best water efficient bathroom products currently available in the UK market. The rules for manufacturers to get products listed are strict and products which do become part of the database are regularly checked for compliance. Almost 1000 products are now within the scheme and once listed are entitled to use the special Water Efficiency Label which has been designed to be intuitive and easily recognisable. In fact it is very similar to the energy label currently seen on white goods. Products can be found in the searchable lists which split products into categories: WC suites, cisterns, taps, shower controls, shower handsets, baths and grey water products. "Members of the BMA have been very active in the last couple of years designing and launching bathroom products which fully meet the listing criteria," said Orgill. "Walker's report recognises, in some ways, the vast amount of effort and investment which manufacturers have put into creating water efficient products. The industry is now well placed to help get the report's recommendations embedded." The review was led by Anna Walker, chair of the Office of Rail Regulation, who is experienced in regulatory, environmental and social issues. She was asked to conduct the Review by the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in August 2008. Amongst other bodies The Environment Agency has welcomed the recommendations, many of which echo calls made by the organisation in its Water Resources Strategy, published earlier this year. More details of the BMA's Water Efficient Product Labelling Scheme are available at www.bathroom-association.org/ and at www.water-efficiencylabel.org.uk/

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