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By John Dillon, VP Marketing Superfy, 30 October 2023

Water is all around us – whether it’s solid waste that is commonly seen in our homes, or hazardous or chemical waste seen on a commercial scale. Water waste has also become a significant issue globally. From contaminated waters due to poor filtering and waste management, to water scarcity failing to meet people’s basic needs – water waste should be a key consideration and concern for businesses around the world. There are approximately 2.2 billion people worldwide who lack access to clean water and about 4.2 billion people experience water scarcity for at least one month every year.

Excessive usage of water is a significant issue globally due to several reasons

Water scarcity, energy consumption, and economic implications are just some of the many reasons why water waste is so rife.

1. Scarcity

Many regions around the world already suffer from water scarcity. Water waste exacerbates this problem by depleting available water resources even further, making it harder for people to access clean water for drinking, sanitation, and agriculture.

2. Energy Consumption

The process of treating and delivering water requires a significant amount of energy. When water is poorly monitored, it also means that the energy used to extract, treat, and distribute that water is wasted as well. This leads to unnecessary energy consumption and increased carbon emissions, contributing to climate change.

3. Economic implications

Finally, water waste has economic consequences on various levels. Water is a valuable resource for agriculture, industry, and households. This puts a strain on water supplies and can lead to increased costs for water treatment, infrastructure maintenance, and water bills for consumers.

Key issues for businesses related to water waste

1. Operational Costs

Water waste can lead to increased water bills for businesses. Wasting water unnecessarily means paying for water that is not being effectively utilized. This can result in significant financial losses, especially for businesses that consume large amounts of water in their operations, such as multi-dwelling residential buildings, manufacturing facilities or agricultural operations.

Inefficient water management practices can hinder operational efficiency. This may indicate underlying issues with equipment, processes, or infrastructure that need to be addressed. Addressing these issues can help optimize operations, reduce downtime, and improve overall efficiency.

2. Environmental Impact

Water waste contributes to environmental degradation. Businesses that waste water in excessive amounts are not only depleting a valuable natural resource but also adding to pollution and energy consumption. This can harm ecosystems, contribute to climate change, and negatively impact a company’s environmental sustainability goals.

3. Reputational Damage

Public perception and corporate reputation are becoming increasingly important for businesses. Being seen as a water-wasting company can damage a business’s reputation and brand image. Consumers, investors, and stakeholders are increasingly concerned about sustainability and environmental responsibility. Demonstrating a commitment to responsible water management is essential for maintaining a positive reputation.

4. Regulatory Compliance

Businesses must comply with water usage regulations set by local, regional, or national authorities. Excessive water waste may lead to non-compliance with these regulations, resulting in fines, penalties, or legal consequences. Adhering to water regulations is not only a legal requirement but also contributes to sustainable resource management.

Businesses with water-intensive supply chains, such as agriculture, food processing, or textile manufacturing, may face risks related to water scarcity and water quality. Water waste exacerbates these risks by straining local water resources and potentially disrupting the supply chain. Managing water sustainably throughout the supply chain is crucial for mitigating these risks.

5. Stakeholder Expectations

Customers, employees, investors, and other stakeholders increasingly expect businesses to prioritize environmental sustainability and responsible resource management. Failure to address water waste issues can lead to disengagement from stakeholders and impact a company’s relationships and long-term success.

How businesses can address excessive water usage challenges

Addressing water waste in businesses requires implementing efficient water management practices, investing in water-saving technologies, conducting regular audits, and raising awareness among employees about the importance of water conservation. By prioritizing responsible water usage, businesses can reduce costs, improve operational efficiency, mitigate risks, enhance their reputation, and contribute to a more sustainable future.

Smart water technology enables businesses, communities, and countries to process water and manage water more effectively. There are four key benefits of Smart Water technology:

1. Efficient water monitoring and management

The main benefit of smart water management is the efficiency of water management. Smart water technology integrates with platforms enabling organisations to effectively monitor multiple factors related to the water: waste, usage, burst pipes and much more.

2. Greater insights

Smart water technology also allows for extensive data and analytics. Whether it’s seeing water levels or understanding where there are blockages or leakages, data enables you to identify patterns and trends within water usage. This can be water flow rates, pressure, temperature, or even who (or where) is using water and where it’s going. Data doesn’t just allow for trends, but it also allows for anomalies to be identified, to detect inefficient or ineffective usage of water.

3. Detecting water toxicity and leakages

Being able to predict (and prevent) leakages or potential toxicity within water levels enables citizens through businesses to forecast when water systems require maintenance. It also gives an additional layer of safety for those consuming/using the water as there is piece of mind that the water is completely safe for use.

4. Reduced operational and insurance costs

A building with smart water technology installed to monitor water flows and incidences in real-time has significant benefits toward the overall building management and insurance costs. With advancements in technology and ease of install, water monitor technologies may become mandatory for construction and building maintenance organisations.