​Media Release

International water efficiency game changer

24 July 2018

An international water efficiency standard will soon be a reality after today's first meeting of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) committee.

​21 delegates from around the world converged in Sydney where they discussed the development of a universal standard.

Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Anne Ruston said that a new international benchmark will become a tool that can be used across the globe to inform consumers and reduce water use.

"Water is one of our most important natural resources. We are dependent on water, or the lack of it, in many ways," Minister Ruston said.

"Better managing water resources delivers powerful environmental and social benefits.

"International standards are also an important way to reduce costs for businesses as they minimise the need to comply with country-specific requirements."

Minister Ruston said Australia put forward the proposal to the ISO to establish an international standard.

"Many countries, including Australia, already have national water savings programs," Minister Ruston said.

"Australia's successful Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards scheme has enabled consumers to save money on their water and energy bills, with an estimated $3 billion cumulative savings over the first decade of the arrangement.

"We are now developing a standard for global application." 

Fast facts

  • Changing populations, new patterns of water use and increasing rainfall variability have led to projections that the world may face a 40 per cent shortfall in water availability by 2030
  • An international standard would be used to allow consumers to easily identify and purchase the most water efficient products
  • The international standard will link national schemes into a system that consumers and businesses can understand, and one that is multi-national.