At a recent ‘Water Resilience Summit”, organised by the Westcountry Rivers Trust, there was concern expressed about the impact of climate change on the future availability of water for domestic use. Wildly fluctuating temperatures and rainfall patterns mean that water supply may become much more unpredictable and problematic. Water companies can control supplies through management of supply (quantity & quality) and delivery (improving infrastructure, reducing leaks, better treatment methods) but demand is largely in the hands of consumers. Changing demographics and socio-economic trends have meant that the national UK average for an individual’s daily water consumption is 140 litres/day (l/d). Denmark’s equivalent is only 88l/d. The UK target is 50 l/d!
What can you do to help meet this ambitious target to ensure that supplies do not run short? The answer’s are obvious: don’t use the bath or, alternatively, share the bath water with a friend; don’t flush the lavatory every time you use it – if it’s yellow, let it mellow, if it’s brown flush it down; don’t run the tap when brushing your teeth; use a rain water butt to store water for the garden instead of using tap water; generally, be far more water conservation conscious and pass the message on to others.
By the use of relatively small measures, everybody can help to secure a water resilient future for our children and grandchildren.