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B & V Water Treatment calls for action after WWF report
Three recent reports highlighting the global economic damage which will be caused by unsustainable water consumption have prompted a call by leading water treatment and water saving engineering company B & V for organisations to reduce their water footprint.
A report by HSBC this month says the world's economic growth is likely to be severely hampered by shortages without concerted efforts to improve water management. And the Institution of Civil Engineers urged the UK Government to ensure the country's water infrastructure is not overwhelmed by rises in population and more frequent droughts linked to climate change.
Last month's WWF Living Planet report highlighted that freshwater ecosystems have declined by 70%since 1970 and that 2.7 billion people are living in river basins that experience water shortages at least one month a year.
The HSBC report states that addressing the challenge will require improvements to the management of fresh water resources and imp roving the efficiency of waste water treatment and how water is used in agriculture, industry and households.
B & V Water Treatment environmental chemist Yolla McCoy is undertaking a company funded PhD at the University of Birmingham into 'Water Recycling in the Food and Beverage Industry'. This work, along with two other services devised by B & V - aimed at helping industry reduce water use and use non potable water for industrial processes, should go some way towards reducing water use worldwide.
"As the world's current population of seven billion is expected to rise by a further two billion by 2050 the situation is becoming increasing dire," warns Yolla.
"Actions can include eating less meat which is around 10 times more water intensive than crops, eating sustainable grown local food to reduce transportation costs, and reducing food waste, currently running at around 30% .
"It takes around 1,500 litres of water to produce a kilo of wheat, and around 15,000 litres for a kilo of beef, which includes growing livestock feed, slaughtering and meat processing. Milk and diary products are also very water heavy.
"As we becoming increasingly urbanised our meat consumption is expected to rise by around 50% per head by 2050 - meaning even more crops will be turned over to livestock production.
"Developing agricultural and technological processes and practices to reduce water waste is vital in ensuring stability of water supply throughout the world - but changing our everyday eating habits is another essential way to help combat water scarcity.
"Recent floods in the UK will have no major impact on the current water shortages in this country, despite some public belief to the contrary."
B & V Water Treatment also recently developed a system which enables companies to tap into alternative water supplies while reducing their costs and their impact on their environment.
The system enables access to non potable water for industrial processes, thus conserving valuable drinking water supplies.
It also creates alternative water access opportunities for companies operating in drought affected countries, as canals, rivers and boreholes are not affected in the same way as the water sources for drinking water.
B & V Water Treatment's engineering division is also continually developing ways of using river, canal and lake water for industrial and commercial establishments and has delivered the first zero carbon non-consumptive river intake and return loop in Europe.
The system will provide 2,575 kW of heating and cooling to a hotel and housing district scheme which, in addition to not consuming any water, especially for the cooling, the CO2 emissions will be zero.
Image: B & V Water Treatment environmental chemist Yolla McCoy
28th June 2012