Why Cutting Water and Energy Use Are Linked

Large parts of the UK, much of Europe and many other parts of the world are currently experiencing a severe drought, the effects of which are all around us to see. In Spain farmers are switching from growing olives to growing pistachios (a more drought-resistant crop) in a bid to survive. In the UK growth of fruit and vegetables is stunted due to lack of water. River flow rates in England are at their lowest since 2002 with potentially disastrous consequences for wildlife and habitats, and trees are shedding their leaves much earlier than usual because they are not getting the water they need in order to survive. In Africa countries such as Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia are experiencing their worst drought in 40 years.

At the same time much of the world is facing an energy crisis as a result of the war in Ukraine. Energy prices are rising at levels not seen since the 1970s. In the UK energy bills are forecast to rise by up to 80% in October. The effect on business costs is proving to be disastrous for many businesses, with predictions that thousands of small businesses will have to close because they cannot afford to pay their energy bills.

The Close Link Between Water Savings and Energy Savings

In short, using less water and electricity has never been more important. Indeed, the very survival of your business may depend on it. But did you know that the two are closely linked? People often think of cutting water use and using less electricity as two separate things but it fact doing one can significantly help with the other. This is because water is heavy and so it requires power in order to move it around from its source to where it’s actually needed. Similarly, hot water requires energy to be heated. If you can use less water, and in particular less hot water, your energy bills will fall.

For businesses, the energy costs associated with moving water around can be very significant indeed. For example, the energy cost of associated with irrigating 1,000 acres of farmland using a pump-based irrigation system has been estimated at around $35,000 per year. In California, 20% of the state’s electricity and 30% of its natural gas that isn’t used by powerplants goes into the water system – from pumping and delivering water through to disposing of wastewater. Water use accounts for 6% of all carbon dioxide emissions in the UK.

Cutting Water Is No Longer an Option But Rather A Requirement

Historically many people have seen cutting water use as a sort of ‘optional extra’ – something that it’s good to do if you can but that isn’t a high priority. Water has been viewed as something that’s freely available whenever you turn on a tap rather than as a limited resource that has a potentially high cost associated with it. At Net Zero Water we can see that this is changing now. The organisations we talk to now are much more focused on the importance of cutting water use back as far as is practical, not only because it’s the right thing to do from an environmental perspective but also because it benefits the organisation by cutting costs.

This is one of those areas where every little helps. Literally every drop counts. Whether you’re able to conduct a full water saving retrofit or you’re only able to make small changes to your existing set up, there are a myriad of ways that all organisations, whatever their size or current situation, can use less water.

Water Neutrality Linked With Energy Savings

Recently, the north Sussex area has changed regulation blocking all development until a site has achieved Net Zero Water (Find out more about water neutrality and how net zero water can help here). This maybe seen as a step potentially in the future to allow for energy savings as well as being more environmentally friendly.

Here are some ways that Net Water can help you