Businesses need to cut down on their water consumption to avoid a crisis, an environmental business organisation has said.
The fuel crisis would “pale in comparison” to the effect of the impact of limited water supplies and the resulting price hikes could have if businesses continue current consumption levels, according to Envirowise.
The group is calling on companies in the West Midlands to take action now to reduce the millions of litres it says they waste daily.
Water is becoming an increasingly expensive resource with the average bill from UK water companies rising 18 per cent every five years.
Envirowise is encouraging businesses to reduce their water consumption in order to help them futureproof against the operational and bottom line effect of rising costs.
Businesses in the West Midlands using over 830 million cubic metres every year – enough to fill nearly a quarter of a million Olympic-sized swimming pools.
Elaine Sharp, programme marketing manager at Envirowise, said: “Water is still considered by many as a cheap and limitless resource. The reality is that we are using far too much of it and this is putting pressure on existing supplies.
“While cost-savings may be a key driver for water conservation, companies that do so demonstrate to customers that they are adopting best environmental practice. This in itself offers a competitive advantage.”
She said it was possible for a business that has not considered its water use before to make savings of up to 30 per cent of its water and effluent bills, and these savings could increase to 50 per cent by investing in long-term water saving projects and water-efficient technology.
She added: “There are many simple low and no-cost ways of improving water efficiency including fixing dripping taps and installing water-saving devices. A tap dripping two drops a second across a year, for example, could waste nearly 10,000 litres of water.”
Envirowise estimates businesses in the West Midlands could make annual savings of up to 276 million cubic metres of water, worth around £292 million per year.