As part of the coalition, Fairness on Tap, CIWEM is calling for a fair deal for water customers and the water environment.

Fairness on Tap is calling for the Government to set out a strategy to install water meters in at least 80 percent of home is England by 2020. This must be supported by fair tariffs to make water bills affordable for everyone, help to reduce water waste and protect the freshwater environment.

Water has traditionally been regarded as a free resource and not one with an inherent value of its own. CIWEM believes that metering provides people with an incentive to be efficient with water use and prevent waste. Customer research shows that households want to use water more efficiently and are prepared to make changes to do so, but what they need are the right tools.

To realise the full potential for water efficiency gains, metering must be part of a package that also includes advice to householders on how they can reduce water and low cost adjustments to make taps, toilets and showers water efficient. In combination, these can deliver greater water savings, lowering bills, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and helping to protect some of our already over abstracted catchments. 

Fairness on Tap is made up of CIWEM, the Angling Trust, Association of Rivers Trusts, Buglife, Great British Refurb, National Trust, RSPB, Salmon and Trout Association, Waterwise, Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, Wildlife Trusts and WWF-UK.

CIWEM Executive Director Nick Reeves says:

“The fairest way to pay for water is to each pay for what we actually use. At the moment those who are water wise are footing the bill for the most wasteful users. The Fairness on Tap initiative aligns strongly with CIWEM’s beliefs that we need increased household metering, increased awareness of the value of water and a change in behaviour by consumers. It is inconceivable that for other goods such as food and fuel, there would be a ‘consume all you can’ policy, so why is it different for water?”

CIWEM has previously called for a wide-reaching review of the governance of the water industry to ensure that our use of water is sustainable and respects environmental limits in its report Regulation for a Sustainable Water Industry. This set out the Institution’s vision and provided solutions involving government interventions, the co-ordination of action by public bodies, the development of appropriate incentives for private firms and household customers and the promotion of awareness and attitudinal change on the scarcity and value of water across the whole of society.

Source: The Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM)