It's a strange world isn't it?

07/01/2012 | It’s a strange world isn’t it? Some might say it’s positively mad. Just before Christmas we learned that consumers in the south were being urged, by their water suppliers, to save as much water as possible. They were asked to refrain from having a bath. They were asked to forgo their long, lazy, luxurious soak in the tub. Our southern friends were being asked, everso politely, to stink their way through the festivities! Even the very thought of sharing a bath with a festive friend was to be frowned upon. But further north, at the very same time, the heavens had opened. Households were soaked with the deluge. It positively poured down. Lucky northerners cocked a snook at the fetid southerners and laughed their way to the lochs which were overflowing with the wet stuff. Lots of it arrived during the early days of 2012 and our friends at the Environment Agency tweeted uncomfortably regularly to tell us that flood warnings were out and defences were up. Oh the wonders of nature! So it’s all very confusing. Mr and Mrs Ordinary-Persons-In-The-Street are being battered with mixed messages. One day we are urged to save water and the next day we are told to get away from the rising floods. How can anyone possibly work out what they are supposed to do next? As I said, it’s a strange world and although we seem to have a lot of it – there just isn’t enough water to go around and there is no doubt that we do have a problem in the UK. The underlying fact remains that our most precious of worldly commodities is in short supply and I believe that this must be the single most important message to get across. Whether you are in the north or south, soaked or stinky, water is scarce and we have to do something about it. There is lots of work going on behind the scenes, here and abroad, to develop policies which will tackle the water supply problem. Many hours of meetings have been attended and endured and they have been taking their toll on our staff at the BMA. But it’s worth it and our own Water Efficient Product Labelling Scheme – The Water Label – has become prominent in discussions across Europe as a way to generate awareness of the need for water efficiency. Spurred on by The Water Label, bathroom manufacturers trading in the UK have jumped through hoops over the last few years to design and develop bathroom fittings which are both gorgeous to look at and extremely water efficient. Who’d have thought five years ago that WCs are now available which flush on an average of just three litres of water. And they work. They do their job. Millions and millions of WCs in UK homes still flush on three times that amount. The Water Label is a great tool in the message armoury since with it consumers can easily see whether or not their sparkling new bathroom will save water and save money on their utility bills. www.water-efficiencylabel.org.uk/ We believe that using water sensibly with water efficient products is key to the current water shortage problem. And we should be positively encouraged to have a bath, if we want one. After all, we don’t want a stinky south do we? Yvonne Orgill

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