When presented with this question, it’s unfathomable to imagine such a world. After all, it’s common knowledge that Earth is covered with water; in fact, 75% of the planet’s surface is covered with the stuff. So in a world dubbed ‘the blue planet’, we don’t need to worry about water scarcity, right? Wrong. Of that water, only about 2.5% is fresh water. Of that 2.5% of fresh water, roughly 69% is locked away in icecaps, which only leaves us with 31% available for our consumption.
Before we get too bogged down with statistics, you might be interested to learn that of all the water in the whole world, less than 1% is drinkable. To imagine a world without water conjures up images of a dry dystopia, so try instead to imagine a world without drinking water. It’s certainly not a world we could live in.
So what exactly is water scarcity, and how does it happen?
Water scarcity is when a water supply isn’t sufficient in supplying the demands of a region. It might seem like a world away, as in the UK it’s as easy as turning on the tap, but the reality is water scarcity already affects every continent. More than 1.2 billion people globally don’t have access to clean water; it’s easy to take water for granted. In fact, even in the UK, despite the fact your last summer holiday was rained off, the issue is becoming ever more prevalent.
In England and Wales, we use 16 billion litres of clean drinking water every day, and there’s even a surplus - we have more than we need. However, according to Adaptation Sub-Committee’s (ASC) 2017 Climate Change Risk Assessment evidence report, at a national scale, England, Scotland, and Wales are projected to be in deficit by 800 million to 3 billion litres per day by 2050. But it’s not all doom and gloom, we can still do something! It’s not too late to work towards a better future.
What can we do to avoid water scarcity?
Water scarcity is being driven by two converging issues: growing freshwater use, and depletion of freshwater resources. Both of these phenomena have simple solutions: less demand; more water. As a UK business, these solutions can be implemented in a multitude of different ways.
Additional water supply can be made available by simply fixing leaky pipes, ensuring plumbing networks across your company work efficiently so more water is available to use. Companies can reduce consumption by simply being more stringent with water use. For example, many companies involve staff in water savings initiatives and even include water savings policies and procedures in staff inductions. It’s important to always be open to new ideas from staff on the subject.
An even better option is to guarantee less water consumption by installing water-saving technology to your existing plumbing. Oxyflow offer a range of products that dramatically reduce water usage; for example, our Oxyflow volumiser is a small device which fits onto taps and showers. It aerates the water flow, reducing it to a mist, which is more than enough for washing hands in bathrooms.
With Oxyflow, each hand wash uses just 3 tablespoons of water, as opposed to 3-9 litres when using a standard tap. Not only does this help save the planet, and reduce the risk of water scarcity in the UK, it has also been proven to save companies hundreds on their energy bills while working towards a better future. Best of all, it allows companies to make a huge impact with minimal effort.
To learn more about Oxyflow products, click here or give us a call on 0845 345 0061.