Water is unlike any other commodity on Earth. It underpins almost every activity we pursue in life, not just in our everyday lives, but in food production, energy production and industries of all shapes and sizes. But with water shortages becoming omnipresent across the globe, water can no longer be seen as an infinite resource.
Unprecedented population growth, coupled with greater wealth leading to far more water-intensive meat consumption; climate change causing more erratic weather and extreme droughts; and pollution are all putting a huge strain on finite water reserves.
Sebsequently, more than five billion people are in danger of suffering from water shortages by 2050 due to climate change, increased demand and polluted supplies.
US Geological Survey figures have revealed that total amount of fresh water on Earth amounts to around 10.6 cubic km. Combined into one, this would produce a droplet with a diameter of about 270 km. However, 99% of that droplet is comprised by groundwater, the vast majority of which is inaccessible. In stark contrast, the total volume amassed from lakes and rivers, our main source of fresh water, produces a droplet a mere 56km in diameter. This tiny fraction sustains most of humanity and is under increasing assault as the planet gets warmer.
Subsequently, some 1.9 billion people worldwide lack access to water, and a total of 2.7 billion find water scarce for at least one month of the year. Water use has been growing at more than twice the rate of population increase in the last century and the consequences are proving to be profound.
With more and more areas struggling with droughts, conserving water is more important than ever. Even if you’re not living in a drought-stricken region, cutting back on water use also means a lower utility bill and helps conserve a precious resource.
Out top five tips to water stewardship:
1.Measure your water consumption to better understand your usage, ensure you’re being billed correctly and identify hidden leaks swiftly
2.Install water displacement devices in toilets e.g. Save a flush / Hippo bags. You can often get these for free from your local water company. Devices can be installed to save 1 litre of water per flush from the 7.5 litre cistern volume
3.Conduct a water audit A commercial water audit examines how much water a business uses and provides detailed information on where opportunities lie for using less (and saving money). Audits can also identify costly water leaks that should be repaired. Some water utilities provide audits to commercial customers for free and even provide rebates for water-saving initiatives
4.Consider water you use in processes Can you use less, or use rainwater to fulfil your needs? Rainwater harvesting systems (RHS) – harvest the rainwater that has fallen freely from the sky, typically onto the roof of your home. In contrast to the humble water butt, which typically captures about 200 litres of rainwater, a rainwater harvesting tank can easily filter and store up to 6,500 litres of clean water.
5.Give me tap Reduce bottled water use, and provide tap or filtered water for staff, meeting rooms and customers.
If you are thinking about carbon footprinting and your sustainability agenda for 2018 now is the time to make the most of your year end data. To help you get your data into shape download our Carbon Footprint Data Collection Guide or get in touch if you would like to discuss what The Planet Mark™ can do for you.