With nations and businesses around the world working towards net zero targets, their energy use is generally the first element to come under scrutiny.
Another simple, quick solution to reducing business carbon emissions is often forgotten or overlooked—saving water! In particular, cutting hot water use has a direct impact on energy costs and carbon creation.
Water efficiency has an important role in helping us adapt to climate change, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, mitigate further climate change, and reach net zero status.
What’s the link between water consumption and net zero?
There’s a strong link between water consumption and energy consumption. The process of supplying water for human usage consumes energy and releases greenhouse gasses. Lower water consumption means lower energy consumption, leading to reduced emissions and moving a step closer to net zero.
You’re billed for every 1,000 litres (cubic metre) of water you used. Hot water can cost between 2 to 4 times more than cold water, once you take your energy costs into consideration.
According to Waterwise UK, around 6% of the UK’s total greenhouse gas emissions are from household water supply and use. Meanwhile, 1% of businesses in England use over 50% of non-household water.
It’s clear that reducing water consumption (even by modest amounts) can help deliver significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Curbing water usage also helps businesses save money, secure future water suppliers and leave more water in the environment to help address this ecological emergency.
Top tips for reducing water consumption
Access the data
Knowing how much water you use in a day and during a month is the first step in reducing your consumption. A simple tool to help you achieve this is an Automated meter reader (AMR)—such as those designed and manufactured by leading IoT company Smarter Technologies Group. Simply placed on your existing water meters, these AMR devices can feed your water use information into a smart portal in real time to help you track your water usage and spot any issues or unusual increases. With an AMR retrofitted onto your existing water meters, you won’t need to spend time and money taking manual readings, you’ll gain access to accurate consumption data, and you’ll be better equipped to make data-driven decisions about how to control your water consumption and reduce your carbon footprint.
Analyse the data
Key to identifying potential water efficiencies is to have a central reporting and analytics system. With Smarter Technologies Group’s customised software solution, all the data from all AMR devices is collected and analysed on a single dashboard. This gives you not only a real-time view of your water consumption, but allows for historic reporting and predictive analytics, allowing you to optimise your water provision even further.
Automate your supply
If you don’t have automatic taps yet, it’s worth upgrading. These sensor-operated taps will turn on and off automatically, reducing unnecessary water use. Smart sensors can be incorporated all around your building, such as sensors on urinals to reduce flushes. You can also cut your water flow rate by installing low-cost push taps and aerators. A typical tap can use eight to 10 litres per minute, whereas aerated taps can reduce this to three to five litres per minute.
Service & Maintain
Make sure that all your water-related equipment—taps, toilets, water efficiency devices and urinals—is maintained and serviced so that you know it’s working properly and no water is being wasted. It’s also important to check regularly for leaks on site. Look out for unexpected increases in water use by keeping an eye on your AMR data.
Build it into your business culture
Talk to your staff about being water wise and give them actionable steps to help save water in your organisation, such as only filling the kettle to the level it’s needed, or waiting until the dishwasher is full before running it. Get their buy-in by explaining the importance of saving water and place posters around the office with water-saving tips.
Call in the experts
Contact Smarter Technologies Group for a smarter water solution. Our industry-leading technology can help you use water more effectively, reduce waste and running costs and reach UN Sustainable Development Goals. Whether you’re in the public sector or the private sector, it won’t take long for you to see results and a return on investment.