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Why we need a mandatory water label – Waterwise Briefing (Jan 2021)

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This short briefing summarises the evidence from the Energy Saving Trust 2018, 2019 and 2020 reports on the case for a mandatory water label to save water, energy, carbon and money.

Reducing personal water use increases the resilience of our water supplies, leaves more water in the environment, reduces our energy use and carbon emissions and can help with the affordability of both water and energy bills. However, it is currently very difficult for domestic and business customers to make informed choices about the water efficiency of the water using products they buy.

A mandatory water labelling scheme linked to minimum fittings standards has been in place in Australia since 2005.  By 2017 it was already saving over 300 Ml/d of water and has reduced emissions by 11 MtCO2e to date and household bills by $1 billion per year.

A similar scheme in the UK would see water savings grow to over 1,750 Ml/d by 2045, reducing personal consumption by over 27 litres per person per day. Over 25 years it would reduce UK household utility bills by over £38 billion and cut UK carbon emissions by over 58 MtCO2e. Introducing a mandatory water label linked to minimum standards for fittings is the single most cost-effective intervention that government(s) could make to help reduce personal water use.