World Water Day aims to highlight the issue of water resources around the world and the importance of water in relation to human health, the environment and economic development. As the world’s population grows, water shortages are set to become an issue globally.
With this in mind, although water saving may not feel as pressing here as in other parts of the world, saving water should be one of the main priorities for businesses when considering sustainability policies. And it’s also worth considering the financial impact, as water rates look set to rise and heating water also has a significant bearing on energy bills. Depending on the type of business, the amount of water used will vary enormously. However, there are several strategies, some very simple and low-cost, which could not only help to save water but also money. Here are our top 10 tips that could help you to make a difference.
- An easy first step is to check out if any water-saving gadgets could be of use to you. For example, a ‘save-a-flush’ could save around one litre of water per toilet flush, or you could fit flow aerators to existing taps to limit the amount of water used. Energy-efficient pumps could also help save up to 50 per cent in energy costs.
- Fix any leaky taps - it’s amazing how the cost of this can add up. A tap that drips once per second could fill three buckets of water in a day.
- Check your water heating controls to make sure you’re not heating water when you don’t need to.
- Consider insulating water tanks and pipes - this will save energy on heating but will also make hot taps run warm more quickly.
- Educate your employees on the benefits of water saving. Simple workplace changes such as only filling the kettle with the amount of water you need or waiting until the dishwasher is full before turning it on are simple changes that can make a big difference.
- Look into water-efficient dishwashers and washing machines. They’ll have either the Waterwise Recommended Checkmark or the Water Efficient Product Label and will seriously help to minimise water use. Although initially they may be more expensive, they’ll pay for themselves in water and energy savings over the longer term.
- Also consider having low-flow taps fitted in toilets and kitchens. And newer toilets use around two litres per flush as compared to around five litres on older ones. Again, there are serious long-term savings to be made here.
- Think about switching fuels. Gas is a cheaper alternative to oil or electricity. And once fitted, solar water heating has almost no running costs.
- If your business uses a lot of water, it could be worth having a professional water audit carried out. This will tell you how much water you’re using, where savings can be made and if there are any costly problems like leaks. Some water companies will carry out this audit for free for commercial organisations.
- If you have outdoor grass areas to maintain, the water use here can be phenomenal. If possible, plant species that require limited watering, and employ a rain-harvesting system such as water butts to collect water.
By Raj Sidhu, Pump Sales Direct