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Water saving bid wins top award
8:00pm Tuesday 18th September 2012 in News
THE UK’s first single-town water-efficiency campaign has won a national award from the Environment Agency.
Save Water Swindon, which was set up in 2010, has so far cut the town’s daily water use by an estimated 560,000 litres and is on the way to hitting its goal of one million litres a day by 2014.
This has been achieved by giving residents free home makeovers and free water-saving devices, ranging from tap aerators to efficient shower heads.
So far 15 per cent of Swindon households – a total of 2,700 homes –- have booked water-efficiency makeovers about 8,600 water-saving devices from the firm’s website.
The campaign, led by Thames Water and backed by Waterwise, Swindon Council and The World Wildlife Fund, won the Environment Agency’s Chairman’s Award at the UK Water Efficiency Awards.
The award was presented by Lord Chris Smith of Finsbury, the chairman of the EA, at a House of Lords reception attended by 110 people from across the country.
Richard Aylard, the director of sustainability for Thames Water, said: “This campaign shows what can be done when organisations work together towards a common goal.
“We hope to use Save Water Swindon as a blue-print for how to implement more whole-town water efficiency schemes.
“What we have learned in Swindon about how best to connect with customers to deliver tangible reductions in water use will, we hope, be applied to other towns and cities across the UK to help people value this precious resource and use it wisely, whatever the weather.”
Waterwise chairman Alan Alexander said: “The wide-ranging partnership established for Save Water Swindon is impressive, and it is commendable that Thames Water has initiated a whole-town project – the first of its kind in the UK.
“It is an excellent example of a small-scale, ambitious project being taken forward to develop a bigger and better programme.
Rose Timlett, the fresh water programme manager at WWF-UK, said: “It is a real pleasure to have been working with a water company who, with our help, has gone the extra mile in achieving measurable results to benefit local rivers and the wildlife they support.”
Save Water Swindon’s activity intensified last year as the country was heading into what turned out to be the driest two-year period since records began in 1884.
The campaign, the first of seven to protect tributaries feeding the River Thames, aimedto educate people ahead of what had the potential to become a drought worse than 1976.
But following the wettest summer on record, river levels have recovered and so have levels in the natural water storage basins below ground. For details on saving water visit www.thameswater.co.uk/ waterwisely.