The financial and environmental costs of drinking water
Most people in the developed world take for granted the fact that they have pure drinking water plumbed into various rooms in their houses. I’m sure, when you turned the tap on to brush your teeth this morning, you didn’t think about where the water came from, or how much it cost to get the water to you, or how wasting water can impact the environment.
I was procrastinating whilst writing up my thesis today and I did a couple of small calculations, which showed that the cost of treating 1000 litres of water equates to costs of about $2 USD. The average American uses 100l a day and the average Brit uses 150l a day (and we thought the Americans were gluttonous).
With the UK population at 63.2m according to the 2011 census, and the USA population at 313.9million in 2012, the treatment costs per day are immense. $62.78m USD a day in USA and $19.35m USD in UK or $229b/year and $10.5b/year respectively. These figures are vast.
Another way to look at this is that in UK, 35m tonnes of greenhouse gasses are released through the usage of water every year, or about 1.5 tonnes of greenhouse gasses per household per year.
A lot of people believe that saving water is not necessary, because there is rarely a visible shortage of water for consumption in developed countries to the public, but the hidden information, such as the pollution in just providing this water to the consumer, and the additional greenhouse gasses released in heating and using the water should be made visible nationwide to enthuse consumers to reduce their daily usage, which will also help to meet future targets.