The challenge of conserving water as a resource for future generations is more relevant than ever before.  Even the smallest things make a difference, like collecting rain water with a water butt in the garden

The challenge of conserving water as a resource for future generations is more relevant than ever before. Even the smallest things make a difference, like collecting rain water with a water butt in the garden

Water is a valuable and natural resource.  However, “of all the water on earth, less than 3% is fresh, and all but 3/1000s of that is locked up in glaciers and ice caps, or is too deep in the earth to retrieve.  The fresh water available in rivers, lakes and accessible groundwater is increasingly polluted.  A lot of available and emerging techniques is making it possible to increase radically the productivity of water.”

The challenge of conserving water as a resource for future generations is more relevant than ever before, and is crucial to the future of mankind.  Recent research has found that almost 40% of water companies believe that demand for water will outstrip supply by 2030.

Even the smallest things make a difference, like putting a water butt in the garden to collect rain.  Eventually of course, we’ll have to do much more than this.

No-one should ever think that personal action can’t solve problems, and two measures that have the potential to aid water conservation in this way are the use of rainwater and greywater in and around buildings.

The cost and benefits can be difficult to forecast reliably even in the short term.  Changes in water consumption and patterns of use, mains supply and sewage treatment charges the variability of rainfall or greywater arising and many other factors will influence the calculations.

In the longer term, increasing demand for water together with concerns about non-sustainable abstraction and climate change increase water prices and improve the cost benefits of rainwater and greywater use.

Other initiatives will have to be considered if we are going to satisfy the demand, improving water efficiency, reusing more rain and grey water and recycling of wastewater, amongst others.

Education is going to play a vital role with consumers whether it be in the home or commercial use.  Wasteful consumer behaviour is seen as one of the biggest barriers to conservation. It is essential that consumers are made aware of the precious resource and how it can be best used to satisfy the demand in the future.

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About thewastewaterman

Chartered civil engineer with 30+ years' experience, specialising in the treatment and management of waste water. Expertise includes rainwater harvesting, water recycling, natural wastewater, reed beds, drainage, stormwater management (SuDS) and sludge/slurry

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