As utility bills climb to unseen levels it is unsurprising that many people are starting to install water meters to their homes. This is because the old system of having a categorised water bill has become increasingly more expensive as water companies try to increase their revenue. As such, water meters are a way to not only reduce the prices of your bill but to also use less water in your home.
The move towards water meters is not just a result of a homeowner's pursuit of cheaper bills. The government in the last twelve months has made it law that all new builds must be built with water meters as standard. These new regulations are supposed to ensure that those buying new homes have a greater respect for the environmental effects of being wasteful with water, as well the financial costs of wasting this precious resource.
It is not just new builds where the government is trying to introduce water meters in a uniform manner. This battle to conserve water is being fought in the cause of water conservation. With droughts seemingly becoming a regular, if not annual occurrence this move by the government, in conjunction with the amenities is unsurprising. These environmental policies were only a short time ago being championed by the environment minister.
In a statement he professed a desire to increase water conservation in drought prone areas through a variety of measures. Not only were meters at the heart of this conservation effort but points also raised in the statement included the introduction of more porous paving slabs in gardens to aid drainage as well as attempting to reduce the use of phosphates in washing powder to further reduce environmental harm.
Water meters for all homes are key to the government's strategy over the next twenty years. With so many new houses being built it will not be long before a major water shortage occurs across Britain nationwide. It was argued that this would be a result of not only wastefulness of homeowners but also a result of climate change and economic growth.
The problem with an all encompassing water supply strategy is that regions are different and have different characteristics. As such, for any policies to be successful it is important to take a local approach taking into account factors that relate to that area directly. That said it is still possible to draw general policies that can be applied across the country. By 2030 the government wants average daily water usage to be reduced from 150 to 120 litres. Part of this reduction is to introduce water meters into homes so people are conscious of the water they are using.
Many homeowners however are not happy with the introduction of water meters wholesale. While those who live alone or in small families will benefit, it is those houses that have many residents that will feel the financial pinch of the usage of water meters. Thankfully government ministers are also researching the different charging policies to create a fair pricing structure that will suit all. One thing is agreed, that the existing pricing methods are not only archaic, but wholly unrepresentative. The hope of the research is to produce a pricing system that will actively encourage people to conserve water.
There is little doubt that water meters will become a large part of the water charging and measuring system in the UK. This can not only be seen as a good thing for homeowners' wallets but also for the environment that will benefit from the reduced amounts of water being used and processed.
Current affairs expert Thomas Pretty looks into the different legislature surrounding water meters and how the governement is intending their widepsread use in the future.