The Environmental Impact of Reducing Your Water
Reducing your building’s overall water consumption benefits more than just your bottom line.
A water conservation strategy helps to alleviate the stress of increasing water bills. But by reducing water usage, you’re also reducing your building’s energy consumption required to heat that water.
In addition to helping your bottom line, reducing your overall water & energy consumption benefits the environment.
Municipal Water Sources
In Ontario, 40% of municipal electricity is spent on pumping & treating water.
Whenever a building is primed with water, municipal intake valves have to open; the transportation of this water uses significant energy resources, producing emissions.
After water is used, it needs to be treated, which is another burden on a municipality’s resources.
Making water drinkable uses an energy-intensive process that involves extraction and filtration, which requires non-renewable resources. This contributes to greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs).
The diagram below, by HOMES Water Inc., displays the treatment cycle of water.
Lower Water Levels Affect Water Sources
Using more water, at home or in a business, takes that water out of water sources such as lakes and rivers. Less water in these sources affects the wildlife within them.
Low water levels in water sources such as reservoirs have impacts on the aquatic environment, as well as the environment around it. Lower water levels can contribute to a higher concentration of pollutants.
Improving water efficiency helps maintain safe levels.
Water is Scarce
Only 3% of the Earth’s water is freshwater. 68.7% of that water is held in ice caps and glaciers, leaving less than 1% of Earth’s water in total as usable water.
Approximately ⅕ of the Earth’s population, or 1.2 billion people, live in areas where water is physically scarce.
It’s more important than ever to preserve the little fresh water that we have, so that communities in need can have access to fresh water.