Water Efficiency Database

Welcome to our resources search page. Please use the drop down menu to find recent Waterwise research and reports. This website also hosts the Water Efficiency Evidence Database, which is a repository of key research reports and paid for by UK water companies to support research and innovation.

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UpStream: Motivating Water Conservation with low-cost water flow sensing and persuasive displays (2010)

This study explores unobtrusive low-cost water flow sensing and several persuasive displays as an approach for promoting water conservation in public and private spaces. Early prototypes were installed at public faucets and a private (shared) shower, logging water usage first without and then with ambient displays. Our long-term deployment of the ambient water visualization was able to effectively motivate water reduction in private homes for all participants. Moreover, our displays have led participants to reflect on their behaviour and reconsider sustainability and environmental issues beyond water usage and showing.

For the full article click here.

Ipswich Water Efficiency Trial Project (2010)

This report summarises the project and presents the findings from Anglian Water’s Ipswich Water Efficiency trial. Householders were offered a free water audit together with the supply and fitting of free water saving devices as appropriate to their houses. Water-saving devices were installed in 552 properties and behaviour change measures were applied in another 47 properties. Households reduced water consumption by 41.5 litres/property/day, equating to 14.2% of their total demand. These were largely achieved through retrofitting toilets with a dual flush device and using shower flow regulators or replacement showerheads.

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Water Efficient Shower Head Offer – Project Report

The aim of this study by United Utilities was to assess the uptake rate of a free water-efficient showerhead offer, customer’s experience using the product, resultant carbon and water savings, and associated costs. After inviting 2,000 metered customers, 155 received showerheads and 118 returned experience questionnaires. Savings of 39.5 litres per household per day were attained. Costs were £29.90 per showerhead distributed, and it is estimated that rolling the offer out on a wider scale would cost £22.71 per unit.

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Reducing Water Wastage in the UK_Annual Report 2008-2009

Annual report on the activities of Waterwise and our partners, supporters and stakeholders

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Preston Water Efficiency Initiative (2009)

This report evaluates the outcomes of the Preston Water Efficiency Initiative, an innovative water demand-management project carried out in Preston, Surrey. Its aim was to reduce domestic water consumption in social housing and to provide recommendations for future retrofitting programmes. 160 dwellings, a school, and a leisure centre were fitted water-efficient devices. 205 water-efficient devices were retrofitted, while a pilot rainwater harvesting system was installed in twelve flats. This was combined with a promotional and awareness building campaign. According to the report, significant water savings were achieved through installing water-saving devices, such as 14 % through retrofit devices and 25 % through dual flush toilets and showers.

For the full article click here.

The Water and Energy Implications of Bathing and Showering Behaviours and Technologies (2009)

The purpose of this review carried out by Waterwise is to identify gaps in knowledge and understanding of personal washing, focussing on showering and bathing in particular because of their high contribution to per capita water consumption. The study seeks to inform and improve demand management programmes, regulation and policy decisions in managing demand. The review utilises published materials from various literature sources. Gaps in knowledge exist regarding basic aspects such as the frequency and duration of showers and bath use; determination of appropriate weightings for shower performance variables; and messaging to effectively market bathroom appliances.

For the full article click here.

Quantifying the Energy and Carbon Effects of Water Saving (2009)

This report by the Environment Agency and Saving Energy Trust seeks to determine the CO2 emissions resulting from specific water using activities and behaviours in the home. Building on a 2008 study, it calculates the CO2 quantities generated at different stages of the water supply-use-treatment process. It also estimates which household appliances produce how much CO2 emissions, considering hot and cold water use, different energy sources, and use scenarios between existing and new houses. Additionally, the study provides numbers about financial costs of CO2 savings from various measures has been quantified.

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Public Understanding of Sustainable Water Use in the Home (2009)

This report commissioned by Defra explores the public’s aspirations, assumptions and expectations around sustainable water use in the home. 18 focus groups and 70 follow-up semi-structured telephone interviews were conducted. The study highlights customer's limited awareness of water scarcity and the environmental implications of water usage. While there is some awareness of basic water efficient behaviours, participants reported few motivations to save water – particularly for those without water meters. Campaigns are recommended to not only raise awareness of water efficiency, but inform people about the reasons why it matters (e.g. environmental impacts) and how their individual contribution can make an impact at large.

For the full article click here.

Water Efficiency Calculator for New Dwellings (2009)

This document sets out the water calculation methodology for assessing the whole house potable water consumption in new dwellings. The calculation method is to be used to assess compliance against the water performance targets in Building Regulations 17.K and the Code for Sustainable Homes.

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Efficacy of Water Efficiency Retrofitting (2009)

This reports evaluates the data from a home audit trial carried out for United Utilities in 2006-2007 to better understand the efficacy of water efficiency retrofitting. 4,642 domestic properties in Warrington were sent an invitation. 393 households took part in the audit and received a ‘water savers pack’, which included a basic shower timer and information on saving water. The data analysis showed that household dynamics, socio-demographic factors and the type of house account for 50% of overall household consumption and 41% on the per capita consumption. The installed devices reduced consumption, with low-flow showerheads being most impactful.

For the full article click here.
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