Waterwise Research Project: Water-Saving Incentive Schemes for Businesses

Call for involvement in water saving research interviews and case studies

The need to motivate and encourage business water users to save water is widely recognised and is crucial to meet the UK Government’s statutory water demand reduction targets for the non-household (NHH) water sector of:

  • 9% water use reduction target on 2019/20 levels by 2038 and;
  • 15% water use reduction target by 2050

However NHH customers of water retailers currently have relatively low awareness of the water scarcity issue or how they could make a difference, and little incentive to take action to reduce their consumption. 

With the closure of the government Water Technology List in 2020 there is currently no central, retailer-neutral scheme offering incentives to businesses to encourage them to fit water saving products in their premises.

The launch in 2025 of both the Ofwat Water Efficiency Fund and the mandatory water efficiency label for water using products provides a great opportunity to address this gap. 

We are currently undertaking a research project, funded by Market Improvement Fund, in partnership with Weir The Agency and sponsored by Wave, to review the options and appetite amongst water retailers, water wholesalers, water regulators and water-using businesses for a new, centralised, retailer-neutral incentive scheme. This scheme would encourage businesses to choose and fit water efficient products in their domestic settings or install other measures such as leak detectors, rainwater harvesting or grey water reuse systems. We are focusing the project on water using businesses that operate in the Retail, Education, Accommodation and Food/Beverage sectors. 

If your business operates in one of these sectors and you would like to take part in the research interviews that we are conducting during September, please register your interest by emailing us at engagement@waterwise.org.uk 

We are also seeking examples of UK or global water saving incentive schemes, either current or historical, that have or haven’t worked, to help us with our research. If you are aware of such schemes, please send us a link. If we use the information (and you are happy for us to do so) we will cite you in the final project report.