This Is a Job for…Plumbers!

A world water crisis is slowly dawning.

"From Iran to California and Sao Paulo to Beijing, we are running out of water for agriculture, business and people. 

It takes 200,000,000 litres per second to grow the world's food, we require huge amounts of water to produce power and increasing individual water use is putting pressure on urban water supplies.The only way to solve this crisis is to build a water saving culture combining kit with behaviour. This means we have to engage with people, we have to communicate the importance of water and help them save.

But this is hard, mass communication is difficult. It requires talking to people in a meaningful way about water. The best way to do this is to talk to them about water issues and conservation in their own homes at a time when they are thinking about water. Who could possibly fulfill this role? Plumbers!

This is why it was great to see the results of the  WaterSafe plumbers' survey, showing that 98% of plumbers see water efficiency as a key part of their role. I remember being involved in the preliminary discussions about aligning the various plumbing approval bodies, this was over 10 years ago. So it is fantastic to see WaterSafe not only established but thriving. And it is great to see WaterSafe increasing consumer trust and underlining the expertise of plumbers, and doing this just at the time we need trusted experts to promote water efficiency.

March 21 to 25 is national Water Saving Week, which is organised by Waterwise and WaterSafe and involves loads of other organisations from water companies to local councils, from individual schools to big corporates. But if we are going to make this an annual event that really reaches the public and makes them think about saving water, saving energy, saving money and saving the planet, we need plumbers to get on board.

A leaflet or a poster from Waterwise lecturing people about saving water is nice, but for people leading busy lives it's just part of the daily noise. But a couple of words about water efficiency from a friendly plumber, or even a quick ‘did you know it's Water Saving Week’ said to a customer in their own home when they are thinking about water has the potential to make a lasting difference and to change minds and behaviours. It also demonstrates the plumber's knowledge and professionalism. 

And if this type of approach works, then could we see water companies paying WaterSafe plumbers to deliver information, recommend products and even carry out extra installations during their daily visits? These are the discussions Waterwise will be having with the industry.

Water efficiency? It's a job for plumbers!"

Jacob Tompkins, Managing Director of Waterwise


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