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Media Release
Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell

19 August 2004

Water Efficiency Labelling Scheme launched


Australians are expected to save more water by 2021 than is in Sydney Harbour as the result of a water efficiency labelling system launched today.

Nearly half of the forecast 610,000 megalitres will be saved from washing machines, about 25 per cent from showers and 22 percent from toilets.

The Minister for Environment and Heritage, Senator Campbell said the water efficiency labeling and standards scheme was the first of its kind in the world.

By choosing more efficient appliances, the community could also save more than $600 million through reduced water and energy bills by 2021," he said.

"The mandatory scheme will be phased in so that by late next year, six appliances must carry water efficiency labels: washing machines, dishwashers, toilets, showerheads, some types of taps and urinals. It will also set minimum water efficiency standards for toilets.

"This scheme will help consumers make informed decisions about which appliance to purchase and the water savings that are possible.

"It will also achieve these savings without any compromise in performance, showing that clever design can benefit consumers, the economy and the environment.

"Water is one of the most critical environmental issues facing Australia and we all have a role to play in helping reduce water consumption. This scheme contributes to urban water reform, which is critical to the National Water Initiative.

"In this the Year of the Built Environment , everyone has a role to play in helping reduce water use and create sustainable cities."

The scheme is funded under Measures for a Better Environment , an Australian Government initiative developed in collaboration with the Australian Democrats.

Editor's note: a sample label can be downloaded at www.deh.gov.au/water/urban/scheme.html


Water Efficiency Labelling Scheme (WELS) fact sheet

The WELS scheme is funded under Measures for a Better Environment, an Australian Government initiative developed in collaboration with the Australian Democrats

Commonwealth of Australia