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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
28th January 2021


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I got into a discussion with some readers last week about my wish to promote both the ethical sourcing of materials and the recycling of goods that are no longer required by the consumers who've been enjoying them - either through repurposing or through passing on - and also my desire to write about anything designed to improve safety, conserve energy or reduce the use of water.

As you might imagine, I found it frustrating to read the results of research, released yesterday by the Water Regulation Advisory Scheme, which revealed that Joe Public doesn't seem to be as fussed as we in this industry are, about wasting water...

Quick to blame the water companies for not fixing leaking pipes, Brits are, apparently, wasting huge amounts by not dealing with simple plumbing issues, with 40% prepared to wait more than four days to fix a dripping tap and 30% admitting that they would wait the same amount of time to report a leaky tap that someone else is responsible for. A shocking 27% confessed to waiting over a week to fix a dripping tap (oh the noise!). And when it comes to fixing a leaky loo, 22% are prepared to wait more than four days.

Around 400 million litres of water are estimated to leak from UK toilets every day; enough water to supply 2.8 million people - the populations of Edinburgh, Cardiff, Belfast, Manchester, Sheffield, Liverpool and Bristol combined. Fixing leaky loos alone could contribute around 10% of the additional water capacity needed to cope with an extreme drought in England by 2050.

The research follows a recent Defra consultation on measures that could reduce personal water use, which highlights the fact that our high population density means that the available water per person is less than in many Mediterranean countries. It recommends that a 'twin-track' approach of increasing supply and reducing demand, (currently 141 litres per person in England) is needed to secure the resilience of water supplies.

If, like me, you don't yet have a smart meter for your gas and electricity supplies I daresay that you're also being subjected to a pushy marketing campaign to have one installed as the suppliers struggle to meet Government targets. The price of energy encourages us to use it frugally though and waste it at our peril. Surely the marketing money would be better spent on persuading everyone to have a water meter installed? If we got rid of the 'easy come, easy go' attitude to water usage, we'd soon stop wasting the stuff, wouldn't we?


Jan Hobbs



9th November 2019

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