An Introduction to Sustainable Water Management
Sustainability and water conservation have long been hot topics in the water treatment field, with sustainable water management proving critical in the coming years.
Water usage in organisations, has often been considered a secondary aspect on many business’ agendas, however as the emphasis on sustainability is being highlighted more than ever, businesses need to prioritise their water management in a mission to aid in reducing their carbon footprint.
In short we must move away from the notion that water is “free” even when we abstract it ourselves from our own wells or other natural sources such as rivers or lakes.
While we are lucky that most of us in this country are working in areas that are relatively free from water stress, this may not always be the case going forward with hotter, drier summers predicted. We also have to consider that water quality is just as important as quantity, there are many businesses that require the highest standards of water.
As water quality declines the cost of improving it increases. Understanding the relationship between an organisations water usage, cost, and the environment is called water stewardship.
“Ireland’s climate means that there is usually enough water to meet the needs of its people and the surrounding environment. However, the EPA’s monitoring and assessment of water quality In Ireland indicates it is getting worse. Just over half of Ireland’s surface waters are in good condition.”
Source: EPA Ireland*
In practical terms a business’ water usage is linked to energy and chemical usage and therefore to it’s carbon footprint; as we have seen water is not “free.” It requires energy to pump and heat and chemical to soften and disinfect amongst countless examples. Improvements in water usage will lead to improvements in an organisations carbon footprint and wider environmental impact.