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HPM August 2013

WWW.HPMMAG.COM Got a story? Ring us on 01732 748041 or e-mail twood@unity-media.com GREENCOMMENT Behaviourial changes can save water In order to bridge the gap between water supply and demand, David Barker, sanitary product manager at Marley Plumbing and Drainage, says the challenge is not just about using less water, it’s about using water differently through effective management and the adoption of more efficient water practices... It’s quite staggering (and scary) when you look at the statistics on water management. Growth in the world’s population, cities, and GDP is putting acute pressure on water supply and waste disposal - so much so that by 2030 the global gap between water supply and demand could reach as much as 40%. In the UK alone, every person uses approximately 150 litres of water a day, a figure that has been growing every year by one per cent since 1930. If you take into account the water that is needed to produce the food and products you consume in your day-to-day life (known as embedded water) you actually consume 3,400 litres per day. This is quite alarming if you consider that the UK has less available water per person than most other European countries. For those that reside in the south east of England it is even more, as this part of the country is the most water stressed. Over the next 20 years, demand for water is set to increase substantially. This will be driven by population growth coupled with an ambitious programme of development on one hand, and increasing per capita water consumption on the other. AN EVER SCARCER RESOURCE Yet there is likely to be less water available - climate change is forecast to make it drier and the EU’s environmental protection legislation, combined with the general direction of government policy, is likely to lead to tighter controls on abstraction. The overall picture is one of ever increasing demand for an ever scarcer resource, and less water will need to go further – affecting everyone. The ‘Water for Life’ Government White Paper focuses on the future challenges facing the water sector, including maintaining water supplies for people, agriculture and business, keeping bills affordable and how the government can reduce regulation. It also highlights the small steps that can be taken - such as installing water butts in gardens to collect rainwater, converting toilets to dual flush, and addressing domestic leaks - as a means to allow consumers to keep their water bills under control, re-emphasising the importance of water saving measures that have been given ever more prominence as more legislation and initiatives comes into force. In fact, the White Paper follows on the back of several key pieces of legislation, the chief one With a third of all water in the average home used for toilet flushing it is seen as a key area for reform being the Water Act 2003 for public consultation, which worked towards achieving goals of improving water conservation, protecting public health and the environment and improving the service offered to consumers. Over the years, this has been expanded on with further requirements acting as a crucial driver for the efficient management of water. This can clearly be seen in the revisions to Section G2 of the Building Regulations of England and Wales on Water Efficiency (sanitation, hot water safety and water efficiency), which came into force on April 6, 2010, setting out new and amended requirements and technical guidance relating to the safety and use of water in buildings. The water efficiency requirement within Section G2 states that “reasonable provision must be made by the installation of fittings and fixed appliances that use water efficiently for the prevention of undue consumption of water”. In terms of new dwellings, this equates to water usage of no more than 125 litres per person, per day calculated in accordance with the methodology set out in the document The Water Efficiency Calculator for New Dwellings also used for the Code for Sustainable Homes. Water consumption inside the home is one of the compulsory aspects to address to achieve minimum standards at levels 1-6 of the Code. Daily Per Capita Consumption of water is calculated using the calculator as detailed in the Code’s Technical Guidance. A total of five credits are available for water consumption. The water consumption specification for increasing Code levels are: Level 0 - Part G of the Building Regulations, Levels 1-2 - less than 125 litres/person/day; Levels 3-4 - less than 105 litres/person/day and Levels 5-6 - less than 80 litres/person/day. Taking this into consideration, when looking to install new sanitary equipment within any mixed use development or organisation, installers and specifiers must take into account the product’s water efficiency and the potential water savings it brings. MANAGING WATER SUPPLIES Water minimising controls such as push taps, flow regulator/restrictors, cistern displacement devices, spray nozzles on hoses, low-flush toilets and sensor-activated urinal flushing, will certainly help in the conservation and management of water supplies. With a staggering 30% of water in the average home used for toilet flushing alone - a total of 1.2 billion litres of water a day in UK, according to Waterwise - it’s no surprise that this is a key area for reform. Installers should look to choose functions such as dual flush WC cisterns that significantly reduce water consumption to promote best practice in water economy and hygiene in domestic washrooms. By making small behavioural changes and choosing more water efficient products, installers will be able to advise their customers on how to effectively save water without sacrificing too much money, comfort, or level of service. Water efficiency is about reducing the amount of water you waste on a daily basis, not restricting what you use. Indeed, the industry must engage with homeowners and organisations on water use and potential savings all equates to helping people save water through behaviour, which is as important as installing water-efficiency measures. 20 AUGUST 2013 HEATING & PLUMBING MONTHLY enquiry number 117


HPM August 2013
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