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Is water the new carbon?

Posted by Barry Nutley on 15 July 2010 at 11:20 am

I've mentioned the importance of water saving in previous blogs, but is it set to become the most talked about environmental issue?

I recently read an article eluding to this:

David Symons, director of consultancy WSP Environment & Energy, before his presentation at IWEX on Wednesday, Is water the next carbon?.
Said, "Arguably in the short term water is more important than carbon.

"But the two are linked. Carbon emissions cause climate change. And one of the most significant impacts of climate change is forecast to be changing rainfall patterns and water availability as a result."

He said that water use sometimes seems to play second fiddle to the energy saving from the public and political perspective for a number of reasons.
Because Britain seen as a wet country, people can find it hard to accept that high population density makes water shortages a real issue.

Also, water is not seen as such a precious commodity as energy as it is comparatively inexpensive, so the commercial drivers as not seen as being so pressing.

And, he added, it is logistically harder to make significant water savings as, unlike with energy, most issues and opportunities arise in the supply chain and/or in downstream use of water by consumers.

Whilst David suggests it's more difficult to make significant savings, I disagree. We know that an installation of a rainwater harvesting "kit", the domestic savings could be up to 50%.

Commercially, it could be higher.

I've mentioned before, that while the Feed In Tariff and Renewable Heat Incentive are great schemes to promote renewable energy. There is very little incentive to save/collect water! Perhaps we should start a campaign for this??

What do you think??

Photo by Kevin Dooley

About the author: Barry Nutley is co-founder and director of Viridis Energie Consultants

If you have a question about anything in the above blog, please ask it in the comments section below.

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Comments

2 comments - read them below or add one

Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 11 January 2013 at 9:49 am

I agree @richmc - once you're on a water meter, there's more incentive to look at usage and ways of reducing it.

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richmc

richmcComment left on: 10 January 2013 at 5:23 pm

"Also, water is not seen as such a precious commodity as energy as it is comparatively inexpensive, so the commercial drivers as not seen as being so pressing."

Try living in the west country! I've cut my water bills by 60% with RWH.

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