Media Release

​Australia takes lead on international water efficiency

13 February 2018

Global demand for Australian water appliances and plumbing parts could soon increase, with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) developing an international water efficiency standard based on Australia's scheme.

​Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources David Littleproud said Standards Australia had set the world benchmark in household water efficiency with the Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) scheme.

"We lead the world in Rugby League and farming, and now we're also beating the opposition at water efficiency," Minister Littleproud said.

"All the taps, toilets, shower heads, dishwashers and washing machines sold in Australia already meet water efficiency labelling standards, and that will give our manufacturers and suppliers an advantage as a consistent standard is adopted worldwide.

"The price of appliances and plumbing parts may even drop here in Australia as having an International Standard will reduce manufacturing costs – and the more we sell, the more jobs we keep here in Australia.

"We expect by 2021 the scheme will save 150,000 megalitres of water each year in Australian homes, enough to fill 60,000 Olympic swimming pools.

"The hard work put into water efficiency standards here in Australia will also help people all around the world, especially in developing countries where clean drinking water is scarce.

"Standards Australia and the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources partnered formally with counterparts in Singapore, Malaysia, China and New Zealand to help drive consensus at the ISO."

Minister Littleproud said Australia's WELS scheme requires plumbing products and appliances to be tested for water consumption and labelled with efficiency information when they're sold.

"Every year Australia saves more water through this scheme as more efficient products replace less efficient ones in Aussie homes," Minister Littleproud said.

"This will help other countries save water."

More information on WELS scheme can be found at