Across the globe, more and more people are starting to focus their attention on water. This is due the the increasing scarcity of clean water, and price is the controlling mechanism.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a speech on World Water Day, that “more people die from unsafe water than from all forms of violence, including war. These deaths are an affront to our common humanity, and undermine the efforts of many countries to achieve their development potential.” He announced this year’s theme focuses of “Clean Water for a Healthy World.”
“Our growing population’s need for water for food, raw materials and energy is increasingly competing with nature’s own demands for water to sustain already imperiled ecosystems and the services on which we depend,” Ban said. “Day after day, we pour millions of tons of untreated sewage and industrial and agricultural waste into the world’s water systems. Clean water has become scarce and will become even scarcer with the onset of climate change.”
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) believes one way to get smart is to better price water. It says putting the right price on water will encourage people to waste less, pollute less and invest more in water infrastructure.
Tariffs for water and wastewater services vary, according to the OECD. For example, a bathtub of water in Denmark and Scotland can cost 10 times more than in Mexico, while Irish households pay no direct fees for water, the OECD says. Water bill increases over the last decade have been primarily driven by higher wastewater charges. In many OECD countries it now costs more to get rid of wastewater than to bring in drinking water.
Pollution, in other words, is adding up to a big and costly problem. Businesses are beginning to get wise to this. We should, too.
Just five beverage companies consume enough water over the course of a year to satisfy the daily water needs of every person on the planet. Of course, we may not be able to control how much water is put in a can of soda or a beer, or the amount it takes to make paper, but we can control our own use at the workplace and even influence those who manage supplies. It may not be our nickel that gets spent on the utility bill at work, but the gains are certainly ours when we reduce the corporate water footprint on the planet.
Water prices are poised to rise due to increased water stress, and corporate growth is expected to be impeded as resources dwindle. Make no mistake, all of this comes out of our paychecks in one way or another.
Many people are still unaware of how they are charged for wastewater disposal. If you are looking at reducing you wastewater charge on your municipal account there here are a few easy solution. Keep in mind that your waste water charge is calculated at 70% of your fresh water use by volume.
- Harvest rainwater from your roof and use this water inside you home or to irrigate your garden.
- Reuse your bath,shower water (grey water) for either toilet flushing of garden irrigation.
- Use your fresh water wisely and only where needed. Clean fresh water has become a scare commodity. By saving as much water as possible you will not only be doing the next generation a favour but also helping the environment.