Bacteria vs The Bot, FIGHT!
By: Austen Buck
I used to turn on the tap at home without giving much thought about how much water I was using. I never really thought about how the water gets there or what it takes to ensure it does. I lived my life not worrying about what would happen if I turned on the tap and there was no water.
I used to take water for granted before I started working in the water industry and then my entire perspective changed.
As children, we are taught at school that we are surrounded by water, blissfully unaware that only a mere 2.5% is fresh water suitable for drinking. With more than half of this fresh water frozen in glaciers and icebergs, the reality is that only a very tiny 1% is really available to us and this precious resource is becoming increasingly scarce.
Leonardo da Vinci once described water as “the driving force of all nature”, without it, life as we know it would not exist. Water is life.
Climate change and rising population are the biggest drivers of the water crisis. According to the Environment Agency, people in England will face water shortages by 2050 if we don’t take action now. The National Framework for Water Resources, launched in 2020 and jointly agreed by the industry, regulators and government, outlined a number of actions required to ensure future water supplies. These organisations can make the biggest difference to the way that our freshwater is used but as individuals there is also lots we can do.
One of the urgent actions identified in the Framework is the need to reduce average water use from 143 to 110 litres per person per day. Unlike others, this one very much aims at the consumer - people like me.
Of course, I was aware of the water saving tips, various campaigns encouraging people to save water etc. but up until recently this didn’t fully resonate. The more I understood about the water industry, the more curious I became and the more committed I became to do my part.
I realised that my water footprint was much larger than I thought. What I didn’t consider was the amount of so called ‘virtual water’ required to produce the food and products I buy, and I was truly shocked with the statistics.
To reduce my water usage, I committed to always follow water saving tips in my daily routines such as turning off the tap when brushing my teeth, taking shorter showers, using cooking water to water plants, watering the garden in the evenings, saving up dirty clothes until the washing machine is full etc. but also to make a few other conscious changes:
I’m also delighted to be leading the Technical Services team at WRc, who help our clients in the industry every day to find the water lost through leakage in their supply network. Our Sahara Pipeline Inspection Technology can accurately pinpoint the location of leaks, allowing precise and rapid repairs to save water from being lost. We actively work with water companies to halve leakage rates, an action set to achieve by 2050 action from the National Framework for Water Resources.
I read once somewhere that we need to get to the point where water wastage becomes socially unacceptable, like how the public perception of smoking changed drastically in the past. I couldn’t agree more.
We need to start thinking and acting differently. We need to change our behaviours. We need to up our game. We all have the responsibility to protect and preserve the water supply for our children. We will only succeed if we all play our part and start now. We are in a race against time. This is the best gift we can give to future generations. What are you personally going to do?
Published on: 14 Mar 2023
By: Austen Buck
Director of Technical Services