When it comes to approaching water efficiency, the strategy so far has been to focus on two main elements. The first is producing water-efficient products that deliver a great user experience while using as little water as possible.
The second is tackling wasteful consumer behaviour, as highlighted in the Trend-Monitor Behind the Bathroom Door report. Manufacturers have done much to introduce dual-flush systems, aerated flow, and numerous other solutions, and according to Trend-Monitor’s own research, conducted in partnership with The Bathroom Manufacturers Association, 80% of bathroom consumers now consider water efficiency to be a key purchase influencer.
But where to next?
A tour round the stands at this year’s ISH show in Frankfurt provided valuable insight into what manufacturers are turning their attention to now, and that is the subject of water security.Manufacturers are turning their attention to water security in the ongoing battle to reduce the amount of water we waste Click To Tweet
Japanese manufacturer Toto has partnered with GP PRO to use its KOLO Smart Monitoring System, which when used in the setting of a public washroom, allows for reliable, customisable and secure monitoring and analysis.
Not only can it track how much toilet paper and how many towels are being used so that the facility managers are able to keep on top of the inventory updates, but when used in conjunction with Toto’s sensor taps and flush valves it is also able to monitor the number of toilets and taps that are being used, and the amount of water that has been dispensed from each one.
Crucially, the KOLO is also able to keep on top of operational issues such as leaks and floods.
But they weren’t the only ones exploring this area.
Roca’s new Roca Protect platform provides integrated bathroom monitoring and management, measuring water usage, assessing whether all the products in a bathroom are working correctly and identifying any problems in the system.
Added to that, Grohe’s Sense detects leaks immediately and its Sense Guard automatically stops the water supply. Grohe’s recent partnership with Nest connected home devices means that Sense Guard can operate remotely to monitor water usage, sending the user alerts via a smartphone app, and even shut the water supply off completely if it detects anything untoward.
So why does this matter?
This new technology enables businesses and consumers to have far greater control over their water usage so they can identify careless or wasteful behaviour, and an awareness of any problems that are developing.
You can now receive alerts to your smartphone telling you about any leaky pipes or dripping taps, or that your child has left a tap running upstairs as you’re heading out of the front door.
This will be instrumental in preventing avoidable water damage to properties, but added to that, this visibility and control has the potential to be truly groundbreaking on the water-efficiency front.
In the context of the recent stark warning from the chief executive of the Environment Agency that England might not have enough water to meet its needs within 25 years, it is evidence that the bathroom industry is engaging proactively to tackle what is a global, as well as a national, problem.