Why water and energy should not be grouped together

Water and energy are not the same

Ever since the terms eco, green and CO2 have been banded about, it seems that many people see this as single cause.  Whilst saving the planet is the end-game, there are many steps along the way to reaching that goal.  You can live without energy, or vastly reduced energy, but can the same be said for water?

Much of the arguement for adding water under the same spotlight as energy (CO2) is the amount of energy used to pump and treat, but also the environmental damage such as eutrophication.  Which in many ways that is very true and I wouldn’t argue against that perspective.  I would always argue the need to reduse and recycle where possible.

My other point

Let’s take the example of reading a book at night, you can use a traditional light bulb, burning away around 60-100 watts.  If we wanted to reduce our electricity consumption and therefore the CO2, we might buy an energy efficient one and still be able to read that book, but using only 15-25 watts.  But ultimately, we can still read that book, with little or no adverse effects.

Now, lets think about the same idea with an example of water.  Let say we take a bath and use 60 litres of water.  If I want to reduce my water consumption in the same ways as the book reading example, then I would be putting in less water and my experience of the bath would be reduced.  Some people will argue that you can get the same end result (a clean body) by showering, but my point is that it is not the same experience.

In the UK the government figures for average consumption of mains water is 150 litres per person per day.  This varies across the country quite a lot and this is perhaps skewed slightly by watering large gardens in certain areas, for example in the south east.  This is also the driest area of the country.  The code for sustainable homes is a fairly new standard which is aimed at the new-build domestic sector and we will discuss this in more detail shortly. 

There’s an old saving about not mixing water and electrics, lets update this to not mixing water and energy.