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.


Search Resources

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Water Efficiency Retrofitting: A Best Practice Guide (2009)

This is an update of the best practice guide “Water Efficiency Audit Programmes” published by Waterwise in 2008. It will summarise current best practice for water efficiency retrofitting, for those wishing to carry out large-scale projects and for companies wishing to carry out water efficiency trials to contribute to the evidence base. Drawing on experience by practitioners, it will suggest ways in which trials can contribute to existing knowledge gaps, with a particular focus on the planning phase. It seeks to reinforce the connection between company-led water efficiency retrofitting projects and the need to build an evidence base to support large-scale water efficiency.

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Comparing Measured Consumption with Modelled Consumption Using the Code for Sustainable Homes (2009)

This investigation was undertaken by Portsmouth Water to assess how water-efficient fittings can reduce water demand in new homes. However, no water-saving devices were installed by the developer as planned, which is why only water consumption patterns were assessed. The sample of 60 homes with a mean occupancy of 2.17 people consumed on average 125.9 litres/household/day. Consumption was lower in the shared than in private ownership properties, despite having very similar water fittings. A 6/4 L dual flush toilet was seen to be relatively ineffective at driving down demand compared to a 6 L single flush option.

For the full article click here.
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