Clean Growth UK Water Challenge
Over the next three days at Futurebuild, we will be introducing a series of challenges, to be explored as part of our residency at this year’s event. Come and find us next to the Innovation Zone in the Clean Growth Café.
On Tuesday, we will begin with the water challenge.
We cannot live without water for more than about a week. Given such dependency on the stuff, we do seem to take it for granted. In the UK we can use, on average, between 150 – 550 litres per day, depending on the size of our household. We might only drink about 5 litres of that, much of the rest will get used in everyday tasks such as baths, showers, flushing toilets and washing clothes.
In addition, as we are well aware, there are other areas on the planet, where people do not have enough clean water. The UN explains: "Clean water is a basic human need, and one that should be easily accessible to all. There is sufficient fresh water on the planet to achieve this. However, due to poor infrastructure, investment and planning, every year millions of people — most of them children— die from diseases associated with inadequate water supply, sanitation and hygiene."
Finally, projections for the future, with respect to a changing climate, indicate that we will likely see a decrease in the availability of renewable water resources, with a reduction in renewable surface water and groundwater resources. We will face negative impacts on freshwater ecosystems through changing streamflow and water quality, with a reduction in raw water quality, posing risks to drinking water quality even with conventional treatment.
This triple combination will require some significant innovation and solutions-driven decision making. To help focus our thinking, listed below are the UK Water Industry Research (UKWIR) ‘big questions’.
If you have a product or service that could contribute to one or more of these water challenges, come and tell us about it at the Clean Growth Café. Or perhaps you have a different challenge that you’d like to share?
- How do we halve our water abstractions by 2050?
- How will we achieve zero leakage in a sustainable way by 2050?
- How do we achieve 100% compliance with drinking water standards (at point of use) by 2050?
- How will we deliver an environmentally sustainable wastewater service that meets customer and regulator expectations by 2050?
- How do we achieve zero uncontrolled discharges from sewers by 2050?
- How do we achieve zero customers in water poverty by 2030?
- What is the true cost of maintaining assets and how do we get this better reflected in the regulatory decision-making process?
- How do we ensure that the regulatory framework incentivises efficient delivery of the right outcomes for customers and the environment?
- How do we become carbon neutral by 2050?
- How do we turn all wastes we receive and generate into products by 2030?
Alongside some of the featured SMEs and innovative solutions around our stand, visit us in the café to contribute to the challenge wall, where we will be capturing the ideas, thoughts and potential solutions for all to see. Likewise, if you are experiencing challenges around water, come and share them – who knows someone else might be able to contribute to the solution…