Is Water The ‘Forgotten Piece’ Of The Climate Puzzle?

Via Forbes, an article on water scarcity in the UK:

At times it can feel like cutting carbon is the only game in town when it comes to all matters relating to climate change.

Obviously, reducing carbon emissions will be key to a more sustainable future, but there are also other issues that will need to be dealt with – like water.

According to the Energy Saving Trust, the average person in the U.K. uses 142 litres of water per day.

Extreme weather events like heatwaves could create problems for those who do have access to clean sources of water, and even more issues for those who do not.

The chief sustainability officer at Ecolab, Emilio Tenuta said water remains the “forgotten piece of the climate puzzle”.

Tenuta said if more organisations put greater emphasis on conserving water, there could be significant savings in terms of energy efficiency, which ultimately would lead to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

“Organisations are looking for every percentage of greenhouse gas reduction they can find,” he told Forbes in an interview.

“But water is often on the second or third tier, as opposed to one the things they should look at first. It’s low-hanging fruit.”

A recent international survey of customers around the world by Ecolab found almost three quarters (74%) of respondents thought businesses should make conserving water a high or essential priority.

And just 25% said they believe companies are taking the right amount of action to conserve water.

Tenuta said they are seeing more parts of the world suffer from a lack of water, as average temperatures rise and demand grows.

He said it is increasingly impacting places in the United States, like California where one million lack access to clean drinking water.

Tenuta said it will be increasingly important not just to manage access to clean freshwater but also to start reclaiming more wastewater to use in critical processes.

“The fact that we have a finite amount of fresh water that is available for humanity is a concern,” he explained.

“Conservation is one way forward, but it’s not enough. More and more, we need to incorporate reuse and recycle strategies as part of our response to the water crisis.”

Tenuta’s comments come as recent research by Kingfisher claims seven out 17 regions in England are set to experience severe water stress by 2030, rising to 12 by 2040.

The West Midlands, London, parts of the South West, the East Midlands, the East of England, and the South East are all regions expected to be severely impacted, unless there are developments in water resilience in the near future.

Regions in the South of England are expected to be the worst affected.

By comparison, the North West, the North East and Yorkshire & the Humber will be less vulnerable to severe water stress.

A separate survey by Kingfisher of 3,000 UK adults reveals that Brits are significantly underestimating their daily water usage, believing on average they use just 57 litres, compared to the reality which is 144 litres.

Dorothee D’Herde, director of responsible business at Kingfisher, said given the urgency and need for immediate global action, there has been significant focus on carbon emission reductions in the climate change debate, and rightly so.

“But we must also take action to protect and restore the natural ecosystems that we depend on and that are under strain as a result of climate change,” said D’Herde on email.

“Water stress is becoming much more commonplace globally – we are already seeing many parts of Europe impacted even before we head into the drier summer months.”

This entry was posted on Wednesday, May 24th, 2023 at 4:35 am and is filed under United Kingdom.  You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.  Both comments and pings are currently closed. 

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