Sector - Local Government
Reducing Water Poverty Through Retrofitted Water Flow Regulators
Caroline Gray-Mason is an experienced water professional focused on raising awareness on water poverty. Caroline is the Director of Water and Energy Services at Cenergist who specialise in control flow technologies and their application across the UK domestic and Commercial sector.
Here, Caroline shares her thoughts on the Consumer Council for Water findings in their recent announcement. She will explore what councils and social housing providers can be doing to help lower the water bills of their residents and how they can be environmentally sustainable at the same time.
There is a stark challenge in the UK with more than one million households currently struggling to pay their water bills, according to a recent announcement from the Consumer Council for Water (CCW). The research found that some people have had to skip meals in order to pay for their water, with approximately 1.7 million people in “water poverty”, which is defined as having to spend more than 5% of their income after housing costs on water bills.
While the government has pledged that it will work with the industry to find solutions for stronger, better and fairer water services for those who need it most, a further 3 million people are believed to be on the cusp of water poverty. Clearly, quick and efficient action is required.
One cost effective way in which councils, social housing providers and New Build construction companies can tackle water poverty would be to address the water flow technology used in homes. By fitting water flow regulators into properties, buildings can have optimised water flow throughout, providing a long- term stable water supply, with significantly reduced running costs for residents helping customers to save up to £100 per year.
A Low Cost Solution
Water flow regulators are a common device, capable of maintaining a specified flow rate even when the pressure varies throughout the supply line. If water is passing through the line at a high pressure, the regulator will manage the flow by opening and closing to maintain a steady pace. These devices can also be deployed to let the optimal amount of water through at all times of the year, regardless of high consumption on the network during periods of peak demand. This makes them ideal for sprinkler systems and tankless water heaters.
Water flow regulators have the ability to conserve the amount of water used without residents even seeing a difference in consumption. Sometimes it is the smallest of actions that can save money, for example just one household can waste over 500 gallons of water per year, the equivalent of 14 showers and six baths. A stark fact when compared to the notion that in some areas of the world, a person can live off three of those gallons of water per day.
For tenants and homeowners who pay their own water bills, the importance of conserving water quickly becomes apparent. Water flow regulators can help them achieve this from the moment they are installed, and can reduce utility bills by up to £100 across the year.
With numerous gallons saved through the use of retrofitted water flow regulators, it is clear how these devices are a more attractive solution for the environment. Water is one of the most wasted resources in the average British household. Between wasting water for recreational purposes (swimming pools or hot tubs), running showers and faucets or leakages, we waste billions of gallons of water each year.
Due to misconceptions about the availability of the resource, there is now a disregard for its conservation. With widespread misuse, water pollution, and overpopulation, water is fast becoming the world’s most precious and most wasted resource. In just two decades, approximately 47% of the world’s population will be living in areas with severe water stress. By taking the smaller steps now to mitigate water misuse in homes, these numbers can begin to decrease. Water flow regulators are the clear alternative as they are cost effective and propose a long-term solution. Made of steel and strong synthetic materials, water flow regulators are designed to work efficiently for long periods of time.
Water usage should be at the forefront of everyone’s mind, as not only is it beginning to become a scarce resource, showcasing in high levels of water poverty, but it is also easily solved and managed. Through the use of retrofitted water flow regulators, properties can manage and reduce water consumption without it impacting the day to day lives of the residents. It is the small steps like these that can have the biggest impact.
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