By Hana Namrouqa

AMMAN – With 30 per cent of domestic water consumed by flushing toilets, conservationists are urging the public to install double-flush toilets to reduce water consumption and their bills.

Each household can save up to 20,000 cubic metres of water per year if dual flushing toilet systems are used in the country, according to a report by the Friends of the Earth Middle East (FoEME).

“FoEME proposes double-flush toilets as a strategy to decrease household water consumption in Jordan and thereby reduce water demand, which significantly exceeds water supply,” FoEME President Munqeth Mehyar told The Jordan Times yesterday.

Double or dual flush toilets are equipped with a lever or set of buttons allowing users to choose between two water settings. A larger volume flush – usually between six and nine litres – is designed for solid waste, while the smaller volume flush – between three and 4.5 litres – is more appropriate for liquid waste, according to the FoEME.

New dual-flush toilets can be more expensive than single flush toilets, but consumers will accumulate bill savings from decreased water consumption, Emily Hylton, a research assistant at FoEME, told The Jordan Times yesterday.

Mehyar underscored that the Ministry of Water and Irrigation should play a role in urging the Ministry of Finance and the Jordan Customs Department to reduce tariffs on dual flushing toilets to make them affordable.

“The 20 per cent customs duty on double-flush toilets must be removed and the Ministry of Public Works and Housing must include the installation of such systems in building codes to reduce water consumption,” he noted.

Double-flush toilets are gaining popularity in Jordan and more people are seeking to install them to reduce water consumption, according to Mustafa Awwad, a salesman at a home appliances outlet in Amman.

“People are interested when they know that they have the option to buy appliances that can save water with the same efficiency, therefore, more people are buying double-flush toilets rather than regular ones,” he told The Jordan Times.

The price of a double-flush toilet ranges between JD30-JD160 depending on the manufacturing company, the salesman said.

To raise public awareness on dual flush toilets, FoEME is carrying out an awareness campaign on their purpose, function and proper usage as well as the high water consumption of toilet flushing.

Conducted under the Jordan River Rehabilitation Project, the campaign seeks to decrease demand for water by implementing water conservation measures that can reduce the strain on water resources, such as the Jordan River, which would experience less exploitation, Hylton noted.