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Water: Conservation

Volume 475: debated on Tuesday 29 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps his Department is taking to encourage the manufacture and sale of water efficient toilets that have a flush volume that is lower than the water regulation standard flush volume of six litres. (201555)

The Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations currently set minimum levels of water efficiency performance for key water using appliances such as WCs, urinals, dishwashers and washing machines. A review of the regulations over the coming year will include options for setting new performance standards for key water using fittings. These measures will apply to individual appliances installed in both new and existing houses and non-domestic buildings.

DEFRA is working with Communities and Local Government on measures to improve the standard of water efficiency in new homes. New provisions in building regulations and the Code for Sustainable Homes set new performance standards for new homes, which will encourage the take-up of efficient water fittings.

Additionally the enhanced capital allowance (EGA) scheme for water efficient technologies provides accelerated tax relief to businesses investing in designated sustainable water technologies, including efficient toilets with flush volumes below six litres.

To assess future consumption trends for WCs, and identify what actions are necessary to improve WC design and efficiency, the Government's market transformation programme (MTP) has published a number of documents related to the water use of WCs. These documents are available on the MTP website.