31 Jul Water supply vulnerability
ESS addresses findings from a report earlier this month stating the threat that water supply shortage poses to certain regions of the UK.
One of the major dangers imposed by global warming is the increased risk of drought and desertification. This is a result of water becoming trapped in the atmosphere and being therefore inaccessible on the earth’s surface. Until recently, you could be forgiven for assuming the UK was safe from a lack of rain. However, a report from Water UK earlier this month, made in response to concerns about supply shortage, says otherwise.
The UK has some of the oldest water infrastructure in the world and the National Infrastructure Commission estimates that securing our supplies requires an investment of over £20bn by 2050.
England and Wales alone use approximately 14 bn litres of water per day with 20% being wasted through defunct infrastructure.
“Achieving the desired water efficiency targets is going to require a holistic review of infrastructure investment, building regulations, and related practices.”
Professor of integrated water systems at Sheffield University
While pipe leakage has been on the radar for some time, with a 7% decrease in loss last year alone, there is still some way to go. The aim is that, by increasing efficiency, the UK can simultaneously reduce bills and increase investment in better infrastructure. A hoped 12% average drop in water utility bills by 2025 characterises the immediate future of these improvements.
Initiatives like these vital as some areas of the UK, particularly in the south east, fear shortages by 2040 without immediate preventative action. There are currently people in some parts of the UK with less water access than individuals living in Morocco.
The question then becomes, what can individuals and organisations do to play their part?
Fostering a culture of conservation should be the top priority for management professionals. Incentivising positive behaviours is one way to achieve this, as well as nominating sustainability champions within an enterprise. A combination of both is best.
Hardware hugely impacts consumption, and the sooner improvements come into effect, the sooner they show returns. In other words: the time for low-flow devices that minimise water waste is now.
Ballooning focus on net zero targets mean that the white good and appliances markets are now awash with choice regarding eco-friendly options.
ESS have consulted on water usage within a range of sectors and offer services designed to increase its efficiency. We analyse consumption data and identify key areas with potential for savings. In addition, ESS can negotiate more desirable procurement contracts on your behalf and identify leaks early on to prevent further losses. Full details of the ESS offering can be found here.