This year, the theme of the UN’s World Water Day is ‘accelerating change’. According to organisers, “we are seriously off-track to meet Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6: water and sanitation for all by 2030”. That is why organisers are calling for everyone - businesses as well as individuals - around the world to take action.
According to the World Water Day’s Be The Change resources, the three most popular actions being taken by people in the UK are:
The organisers of World Water Day are asking us all to commit to even the smallest of actions that will contribute not only to greater water efficiency, but ultimately to the sustainability of the world’s water. They talk about an ancient story about a hummingbird who tries to put out a forest fire with one drop of water at a time, even though all the other animals had run away. The moral of the story is that the bird was doing something that made a difference, however small.
Water savings we can all make include the (hopefully) obvious ones, such as taking shorter showers, not putting oils and chemicals down the sink, and collecting rainwater for the garden. But it is also important to educate yourself - do your research to learn more about what it takes to get potable water to your taps, and what happens to it when it enters the drainage system. Other ways you can help are to buy local, seasonal food, as well as products with a lower water footprint - the production of organic cotton, for example, uses 91% less water than the production of its non-organic counterpart.
Individual actions may seem as small as one hummingbird trying to put out a forest fire, but if we all make those tiny changes, together they’ll make a big difference. This reasoning applies to businesses too.
There is plenty your business can do to become more water efficient. In fact, any actions you take will help towards the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal for water - not only adding to your company’s sustainability credentials but also saving your business money with smaller water bills. It really is a win-win situation. In fact, you may be surprised by how much money you can save through taking water efficiency measures - as an example, one police force has saved around £40,000 a year on water bills after introducing automatic meter reading (AMR) across a number of its sites.
If your business organises team volunteering days, consider organising one that will benefit water sustainability, such as clean-ups on rivers or beaches, or helping out with a tree planting project. Trees are truly amazing - they help keep our natural waterways clean, prevent flooding, and keep things cool during heat waves.
We all need to do what we can to accelerate change on World Water Day.