Why Save Water?
Many countries, such as Australia are conscious about conserving water and reducing water usage, having dealt with droughts, water shortages and water restrictions for decades. In the UK, it is only now that people are starting to take notice, even though some of the World’s most intuitive water saving ideas, such as the waterless urinal, were actually invented here.
One of the problems today, particularly here in the UK, is that people have no comprehension of how precious water is and therefore have no respect for it. 49 percent of residential homes are still unmetered so people just use it as they wish. The ways in which I have seen people waste water over the past few years is just staggering. Then there are the companies and their staff that waste water… too lazy to fix a leaking tap and can’t be bothered to look into things such as waterless urinals because they have some view that was formed many years ago when systems were still developing. The government and our national water Companies are also to blame, with a network of pipes so old that up to 179 litres per household are lost to leaks by some water companies. In fact, two years ago, Ofwat, the water regulator, found that almost a fifth of water en-route to customers leaked before it reached a home.
Sir James Bevan, chief executive of the Environment Agency, said that wasting water should be seen as a social sin.
“We need to change our attitudes to wasting water so it becomes as socially unacceptable as blowing smoke in the face of a baby or throwing your plastic bags into the sea”.
We at Waterless Solutions strongly believe the shame should not only be felt by consumers and we would support strict penalties and large fines for corporate water users.
Recent reports have again reaffirmed the issue the UK has with water and the importance of reducing usage. In a corporate environment, the wastage is not only bad for a Company's image and sustainability objectives, but it also reduces profitability.
Sir James also said that within 25 years the UK could face a “jaws of death” situation in which there would not be enough clean water unless urgent action was taken to cut usage and reduce leaks. He said: “Demand for water will rise as the population grows, while water supply is likely to reduce...”.
In the UK, the average water consumption is 140 litres per person per day. The Environment Agency is now working with the Government to reduce this usage to 100 litres. One of the areas they are looking at closely is water usage in bathrooms. Water labelling is one solution — ensuring all products that use water, like a toilet or a dishwasher, bear a label identifying how water-efficient or not they are.
But why just a label? Why not impose a water tax on Corporations that unnecessarily use water, such as in their urinals?
Sir James also called on water companies to “redouble their efforts to fix leakage”. He said the agency believed that reducing average per capita consumption to 100 litres a day was achievable in 20 years.
“In parts of Denmark they use just 80 litres a day. If by 2050 we reduced per capita consumption to 100 litres a day, leakage by 50 per cent, and did nothing else, it would provide enough water for an additional 20 million people without taking any more from the environment. And who’s to say that by 2050 we couldn’t get to 80 or 70 litres a day?”
Some of the staggering facts about water wastage and water cost include:
The price of water is only going up. The average price in London is £2.30 per cubic metre, whilst the average UK prices is £2.90 per cubic metre;
Cleaning waste water (or 'grey water', as it's called) is an energy-intensive process generating C02; so is heating the hot water that comes out of your taps;
£1 per day or 157,000 litres of fresh drinking water, is what a standard water flushing urinal costs in water alone (based on London prices & 4 flushes per hour);
A displacement device in your toilet cistern can save 5,000 litres a year;
A dripping tap can waste 15 litres of water a day, or 5,500 litres of water a year;
A smart water meter can reduce your bills and usage by up to 30%.