Ideal Standard and the Bathroom Manufacturers Association urged the government to launch a toilet scrappage scheme at an NHIC discussion on Part G at the House of Commons today.
Yvonne Orgill, chief executive of the BMA, said that the need for a scrappage scheme is needed to ensure that the government addresses the problem of 11 million homes that have not been updated since the 1980s.
“If we replace all these water-guzzling toilets, we can save 30% of water use in bathrooms,” she said.
Orgill quoted statistics indicating that two thirds of the world’s population will live in water stressed areas, and that the UK will not escape it.
“We have to act today. In the UK, the south east is currently drier than Istanbul, or even Spain, and even the Isle of Sky has experienced water issues. There are also many parts of the midlands that are now under water stress, so it’s a lot closer to home than we anticipated.”
Tony Rheinberg, marketing manager for Armitage Shanks, part of Ideal Standard, followed Orgill’s speech with another call for government incentives to stimulate the market for retro-fitting water efficient systems: “In the UK we estimate that there are more than 11 million WCs that flush on more than six litres of water,” he said. “Some of these could flush on as much as 11 litres of water per flush. It is in this area that the government can help by providing incentives for consumers to change their water-guzzling WCs.”
Rheinberg also urged the government and the industry to be proactive in tackling the problem of water availability.
“There is no more water – all we have to share is here. Unlike oil, we can’t search and drill for any more. We can’t invent a substitute. Water is a precious commodity, and therefore it is wise for us to use it sparingly and treat it with great care,” he said.
A full report on the issues discussed at the event will feature in the March issue of BMJ.