Water UK, the trade organisation that represents the UK’s water sector, has criticised the environment bill (which recently passed its second reading in the House of Commons), saying that it lacks clarity where water efficiency is concerned.
In a letter written to the Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs, Water UK explained that changes like water labelling schemes (which can help drive down water consumption) would help protect water bills and give customers information about appliances prior to purchase… but the government is yet to commit to rolling these out, Edie reports.
It is also keen to see the bill updated to provide more clarity regarding the possible introduction of personal water budgets – and there’s no time like the present, it seems, given that the coronavirus pandemic is likely to see an increase in water consumption because people are washing their hands more.
The Environment Agency has now released its National Framework for Water Resources, which sets out how to improve water efficiency from now to the year 2050, aligned with megatrends including population growth and global temperature increases.
The document warns that, on a per capita basis, the daily consumption of water must be slashed from 143 litres (as it was in 2018) to 110 litres over the next 30 years.
In order to achieve this, measures include investing more to reduce leakage rates, mandatory efficiency protocols for businesses in all industries, the creation of desalination infrastructure and new reservoirs, and investment in reuse systems by corporations with high water footprints.
Chair of the Agency Emma Howard-Boyd said: “If we don’t take action, many areas of England will face water shortages by 2050. The National Framework for Water Resources is the step change required to ensure the needs of all water users are brought together to better manage and share resources.”
Businesses can start to make improvements where their water stewardship is concerned right now by enhancing their understanding of the risks associated with water usage and consumption. This will allow them to introduce strategies to reduce these risks and make sure their operations continue to be sustainable in the future.
Knowing what your business’s water footprint is can be useful so that action can be taken to address any issues and plans and targets put in place to ensure more sustainable use of water.
There are all sorts of benefits associated with this, including good water quality, effective water governance that ensures everyone receives a fair allocation, and sustainable water balance. You’ll also reduce water-related risks through the minimising of environmental, economic and social impacts – and you can properly prepare for periods of drought, as well as enjoying cost savings associated with water efficiency.