While we are often talking about Clean Technologies that assists with water recycling as a solution to the current water crisis in some areas – we thought we’d take a step back and look at a few ideas to consider when using water both domestically and commercially.
Water conservation is important to saving money, saving energy, and helps to guarantee the wellbeing and health of our bodies and environment. If you take a look at the top cities, they are defined and illuminated by waters that surround or flow through them. From harbors of New York to canals of Amsterdam and beaches of Sydney, water is a key factor adding to their unique magnetism.
Even with this signature role played by water, its sustainability remains a mirage for many. Clean water is increasingly getting scarce because the existing freshwater resources are under threats. To achieve water sustainability goals, everybody has to do his/her role effectively. The following are some ideas we’ve found to enhance water sustainability.
Improving water use efficiency
One of the primary methods of enhancing water sustainability is cutting wastage. In agriculture, 70% of water is used in plant growth while the rest is lost through evaporation and seepage to the aquifers. To increase efficiency, it is advisable to adopt modern techniques such as pressurised pipe networks, drip irrigation and greenhouse farming.
In public water systems, sustainability can be achieved by improving the connections to reduce losses and contamination with sewer systems. Industries should consider re-using their water for cooling or cleaning (that’s where some great Clean Technology has been developed and is being deployed around the world). It is also crucial that monitoring is enhanced to easily identify areas that need prompt attention.
Increasing water prices
Taking a closer look at water statistics reveals that about 780 million people across the globe lack access to clean water. In developed nations like Australia, people are lucky to have clean water running in their taps. However, when this access is guaranteed, it becomes the expectation that the water will always be available. For others, the idea of conserving it fades away.
Though it is prudent that the price should be kept at reasonable rates, raising the rates can help to jerk people back to their conscience and help reduce its use. When the water bill goes up, people resort to cost-cutting efforts such as recycling gray water or using alternative methods such as vacuum cleaning.
Protecting ecosystems such as forests and aquifers
Perhaps the biggest challenge to the realisation of sustainable development is the emerging ecological crisis. From forests to water estuaries, global environmental degradation could easily trigger the collapse of ecosystems, one after another. The new understanding of the planetary boundaries should be emphasised and respected by all.
- More than 1.7 billion people today live in river basins where water use surpasses recharge by a huge margin. This is causing fast desiccation of rivers and hasty depletion of underground water.
- About 80% of wastewater is released into natural waterways without treatment. This not only pollutes the water, but it also kills the organisms living there.
To have a sustainable water supply, it is prudent to ensure that essential ecosystems such as forests are conserved. This should be done by planting more trees in the forests and using policies to prevent logging. Water aquifers should also be protected by identifying them and promoting their recharge.
Using personal initiatives to cut on water consumption
If every person stands up and commits to start saving water from a personal level, achieving sustainability would be very easy. Here are some of the things that people can do to cut water use and enhance its sustainability.
- Install water efficient appliances at home.
- Winterise pipes.
- Using a low-flow shower head and taking shorter showers.
- Fill a bowl to shave, wash the hair less often, and shower with your partner.
- Flush the toilet with gray water to increase its utility.
- Consider a composting toilet.
- Avoid rinsing dishes with running water and keep the faucets tightly closed.
To achieve water sustainability, it is prudent to ensure that the concept is clearly understood and all stakeholders involved. The government has to come up with good policies for distribution, pricing, and use. Commercial entities and individual users should also play their part by cutting wastage, using efficient appliances and recycling. More importantly, the sources of fresh waters and related ecosystems should be protected to guarantee ample flow for present and future generations.
About the Australian Cleantech sector
The future of Australian Cleantech sector largely depends on its ability to link with decision makers and investors to bring about measurable influence and mobilise its own growth.
The aim of the National Clean Technologies Conference & Exhibition is to provide a unique platform for the producers, stakeholders and commercial end-users of clean technology to come together. The program will focus heavily on commercialisation, creating effective business clusters, innovation case studies and success stories, investment/funding channels, innovation and trends. Our vision is that this event becomes the place for the Cleantech industry to collaborate, be educated, be inspired, find opportunity and most importantly, do business.
The conference will also attract stakeholders from across the Cleantech industry to initiate growth, revolution, and investment.