The availability of water is not just vital for our survival, it’s also crucial for the growth of our economy. The World Bank states that “Economic growth is a ‘thirsty business’. Water is a vital factor of production, so diminishing water supplies translates into slower growth. Some regions could see their growth rates decline by as much as 6 percent of GDP by 2050 as a result of water-related losses in agriculture, health, income and prosperity.”

The World Bank warns that we need to optimise water supply and availability to allow agriculture and business to flourish. It advises a number of actions to ‘waterproof’ economies, such as better urban planning, expanding water storage, recycling and reusing water, desalination, and incentives to improve water quality, as well as economic instruments including water permits and pricing.

The UN is equally clear on the importance of water to the economy. “Water is at the core of sustainable development and is critical for socio-economic development, healthy ecosystems and for human survival itself. It is vital for reducing the global burden of disease and improving the health, welfare, and productivity of populations. It is central to the production and preservation of a host of benefits and services for people.”

In a report carried out by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), authors concluded that:

  • “The economic benefits of improved water supply and – in particular – sanitation far outweigh the investment costs.”
  • “Improved water supply and sanitation and improved water resources management boost countries’ economic growth and contributes greatly to poverty eradication.”
  • “Investing in water is good business – improved water resources management and improved water supply and sanitation contributes significantly to increased production and productivity within economic sectors.”

Water sustainability for agriculture and commerce

There is so much evidence showing that water shortages in the UK are already a problem, and that, by 2050, the country could reach the point at which there is more demand than supply. We can no longer afford to think of water shortages as just being caused by a particularly hot and dry summer, and shortages will no longer be solved just by the introduction of domestic hosepipe bans.

In the future, water shortages in the UK will have a massive impact on the economy as well as on our gardens. This is why we all need to act now. By increasing the water efficiency of your business now, you will be ensuring the availability of enough water to keep the economy buoyant in the future.

And the best news is that any investment you make now will pay for itself surprisingly quickly in terms of savings on your business water bills. Cutting your water bills now will help you balance increasing energy bills.

For more information about business water efficiency, download our free Water Efficiency Guide or book a Water Efficiency Audit to discover where you can make more efficient use of your business water.

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