By Staff Writer

Canberra: Yesterday was World Water Day and the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, used the occasion to urge manufacturers, retailers and consumers to support the new national appliance water efficiency rating scheme which will be mandatory from 1 July 2006.

“The Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards scheme or WELS will label appliances rated for water efficiency, similar to the way that they are now labelled for energy efficiency. The more stars the better,” Senator Campbell said.
According to Senator Campbell, WELS will reward manufacturers who develop improved and efficient products and the retailers who support this innovative scheme.

“We’ve had a fantastic response from many areas of industry and the retail sector. Both have been supportive of our efforts to promote products that are high performing and environmentally-friendly,” he said.

Campbell also highlighted the consumer benefits of purchasing a water efficient appliance.
“By using a 4-star washing machine compared to a 1-star machine every day, the average Australian household could save nearly 47,000 litres of water every year,” he said.

Appliances that will be labelled for water efficiency include domestic clothes washing machines and dishwashers along with certain taps, showerheads, toilets, urinals, and flow control devices for use with taps.

Under the scheme, manufactures and importers of WELS appliances will be required to label WELS appliances and retailers will be required to sell labelled products following the mandatory 1 July 2006 introduction.

“WELS is a cooperative scheme involving all Australian governments. So far New South Wales, Victoria, the ACT and Tasmania all have complementary WELS legislation in place. Western Australia, Queensland, Northern Territory and South Australia are in the process of finalising or will soon be drafting complementary legislation.”