Water Meters – confusing cause and effect ? Letter from Prof Lesley

Dear Editor,

Is today’s front page story another attempt by the Government to tax us more ? UK homeowners (with or without meters) already pay more for water than Continentals. UK water use if wasteful. About 90% of domestic water flushes toilets and washes; ourselves, clothes and dishes. Fortunately the washing machine makers have reduced their water consumption. This leaves the loo. Why do we need 10L to flush the toilet when others manage with 5 or less ? Before we spend an estimated £8bn on fitting water meters, investing a fraction of that on more efficient loo’s would actually reduce water consumption. This year every household could be issued with a water saving kit, cost £5, which put in the cistern reduces flush volume but not effectiveness. Could Robin McKie perhaps follow this up to discuss the cause of high (anything) consumption ? After all all UK houses have electric (and many gas) meters. These have not reduced energy consumption, since our 23million dwellings leak energy like sieves.

Getting energy efficiency to match those in Germany (Passiv Haus) or Canada (R2000) standards, would dramatically reduce fossil fuel use and carbon emissions, and so help to maintain the UK’s present rain fall, so no rivers run dry in 2050 ?

Your sincerely,

Prof. Lewis Lesley

30 Moss Lane

Liverpool L9 8AJ

0151 521 5509=

5 Comments

  1. Reply

    Does anyone here have a figure for the embodied energy in a litre of tapwater? That is, the energy required to filter,process and pump said water?

  2. Reply

    Wessex water uses about 240 GWh per year of electric about half of which is used in the water supply side, the other half in the treatment of sewage side.

    If you look on the Wessexs Water web site it will no doubt tell you how much water they supply.

    Perhaps you could post the quantity and the result when you have found out?

  3. Reply

    To suggest electric or gas meters don’t lead to reduced use of electricity and gas is stretching the point. Do you really think if gas and electricity were unmetered their use would be the same as now??

  4. Reply

    Yes but I think it is a fair point, that the cost of metered energy is not enough to make people invest in extreme energy conservation measures for a variety of reasons. Instead it seems to be the case that legislation is needed – ie look at Sweden and Germany.

    In Sweden it was illegal in the 1930s to build houses to the standard we brits currently allow.

    Since water is so much cheaper it will hardly put people of using the stuff, except poor people who will then become ill.

    Rich people will still go on watering the dahlias and washing the car(s).

    It is basically a stupid market based approach which won’t work

  5. Reply

    Whoever wanted to know the embodied energy content of water, our agents tell us that Wessex Water, with about 1 million users, delivers 352 Ml/d (million liters per day)or megs as we call it.

    Can someone work out and post the result please based on power usage figures for Wessex given on previous comments.

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