What We Do

Water Efficiency Strategy

Climate change and population growth are increasing pressures on water resources in the UK. A recent Water UK report identified that we are facing longer, more frequent droughts – and will face more acute droughts in future than previously thought – right across the UK.

Significant innovation and increased water efficiency have an essential role to play in helping ensure we have enough water for people, the economy and the environment now and in the future.

We need to tackle water and fuel poverty – and water efficiency cuts bills and energy use. It’s also central to moving to a more customer-led water sector which can keep up with other sectors.

There is already a great deal of excellent water efficiency work involving a range of factors being undertaken across the UK – through setting out focused recommendations and actions, this strategy is providing a framework via which we can drive even more ambitious water efficiency action and ensure future work is focussed on key areas.

The strategy was developed in consultation with the water sector – including Waterwise supporters and the Water UK-supported steering group.

The strategy sets out a blueprint to deliver a vision of a UK in which all people, homes and businesses are water-efficient, and where water is used wisely, every day, everywhere.

The strategy sets out recommendations and actions in the following areas:

  • Water, people and communities
  • Water Wise Cities – improving water efficiency in our urban environment
  • Products and labelling
  • Water company delivery and regulation
  • Water efficiency in retail competition
  • Integrated water management and resilient infrastructure

A Water UK-supported Water Efficiency Strategy Steering Group has been formed to deliver against the actions in the Waterwise strategy (further info below). Waterwise will report annually on progress and review the strategy in 5 years time.

Find the full strategy document here.

Water Efficiency Strategy Steering Group

The Water Efficiency Strategy Steering Group works with Waterwise to deliver Waterwise’s Water Efficiency Strategy for the UK and the actions it sets out.

Supported by Water UK and formed in January 2017, the Strategy Steering Group is chaired by Jean Spencer, Anglian Water Executive Director
of Strategic Growth and Resilience. Aaron Burton, Waterwise Director of Policy and Innovation, co-convenes the Steering Group. Membership includes water efficiency practitioners from the UK water industry, regulators and government. The Secretariat is provided by Anglian Water.

The Water Efficiency Strategy for the UK was developed and produced by Waterwise. It is both

visionary and pragmatic. Policy, regulatory and practical actions to deliver ambitious water efficiency in innovative ways are at its heart. Waterwise’s thought leadership team continues to drive forward and track the action with governments, regulators, industry, customers and others.

Waterwise worked with partners across the UK water sector to develop the Strategy – and through the Steering Group responsibility for its delivery is also shared. Waterwise is grateful for the continued support of the Water Efficiency Strategy Steering Group, and looks forward to continuing to work with colleagues across the UK to deliver the strategy and actions.

Projects being delivered
by the WEStrategy

Independent Review of Water Labelling

Waterwise are leading a project funded by Defra and the Collaborative Water Efficiency Fund to deliver a key action from the Water Efficiency Strategy for the UK on reviewing water labelling options. The Energy Saving Trust has been chosen as the partner to deliver the research on policy options, cost benefit analysis and a practical way forward. Based on international experience an effective water labelling programme linked to wider building regulations and water efficiency initiatives can significantly help reduce demand for water. This will be needed to help the UK meet ambitious reductions in PCC and important in the context of a new ISO standard being developed for water labelling. Stakeholder engagement will be a key part of the project. Find out more here.

Water Efficiency Strategy for the UK – Annual Review 2018

In October 2018 we will release our annual report from the Water Efficiency Strategy Steering Group.

We will be in contact soon to help us identify how the sector has been helping deliver these actions, in addition to those being led by the strategy steering group.

Water Resources Communication

We developed a mini-site (here) to deliver the actions below from the Waterwise Water Efficiency Strategy for the UK:

  • B10 Trial communication of water demand (i.e. at the city/ region level) for one company or SaveWater SouthEast in the Discover Water portal
  • B11 “Link Water Situation Reporting into the Discover Water Portal Develop an app similar to the Australia Bureau of Meteorology Water Storage app (for South East at least)”

The website collates water situation reports for water companies in the South East of England. We are planning to undertake research with customers to identify what information would help them maintain an awareness of drought and the need to save water.

Water Efficiency and Customer Participation Leadership Group

The Leadership Group on Water Efficiency and Customer Participation is a Waterwise initiative, launched with the UK water industry in June 2017.

Building on work to date, it brings together senior UK water industry leaders in a more ambitious approach to wasting less water – using this to drive a more customer-led culture.

The Leadership Group is chaired by Jean Spencer, Anglian Water Executive Director of Strategic Growth and Resilience, and co-convened by Nicci Russell, Waterwise Managing Director. Membership covers all UK wholesale water companies at Chief Customer Officer, Customer Service Director or Managing Director level. Waterwise acts as Secretariat for the Group.

The Leadership Group offers a new opportunity to involve customers in thinking about their future water services. Motivating people to take action, and empowering communities through rewards, could change the way we think about water, and revolutionise services. Waterwise will challenge and support the sector on ambition and innovation – within individual companies and across the sector.

Find out more here.

Waterwise Retail Leadership Group on Water Efficiency

The Waterwise Retailers Leadership Group for Water Efficiency will aim to support and encourage water retailers to aim higher on water efficiency in Year 2 of the market, building on practice to date – and to broker discussions with other key players on barriers and opportunities through invited slots (for example wholesalers, regulators, government and manufacturers). It will be a sister Group to ​Waterwise’s Leadership Group on Water Efficiency and Customer Participation for Chief Customer Officers of the UK wholesale water companies – an action of Waterwise’s Water Efficiency Strategy​.

Find out more here.

Innovation programmes

Waterwise are working with a number of water company innovation programmes to identify opportunities to deliver against the Water Efficiency Strategy for the UK and high ambitions for reducing PCC.