When we think about water shortages, droughts and poor water supplies, we usually think about countries like Africa or India.

But in countries like the UK, we are not immune to the problem either. That’s because it’s not all about rainfall and how much water you have underground.

Much of the problem is about populations, usage levels, agriculture and water treatment. As the population of the UK continues to grow pressure will be put on our water supplies. This month (July 2018), with its spell of long, hot, and very dry weather, has brought the issue to a head and caused some in the industry to speak out.

Supplies are flowing but are struggling, hose pipe bans are coming into place – what will it be like in 10 or 20 years’ time? Despite advice and warnings, people continue to water their gardens and wash their cars using treated tap water.

Head of Ofwat Rachael Fletcher told a group of MPs that households should switch to other sources like water butts or recycled bath water for activities like washing cars.

She said (source, Daily Mail): “We do as a sector need to think about transferring water from one region to another. And we have got to shift the frontier in the technology we are using in delivering water supplies.

‘The idea of using treated drinking quality water to water our gardens and wash our cars in the 21st century just doesn’t seem appropriate. As a regulator, it is something we will push the companies to innovate on.”

Pleasing to hear, because at Aqua21 we have been talking about this issue for several years. We believe that centralised water systems are not fit for 21st century purposes. To treat all water to potable standard and then pump that into homes and businesses when only 2% is typically drunk is hugely wasteful – not only in terms of water, but in terms of power, energy and money.

Much is used for washing up, watering gardens, washing cars, having a bath and outside of the home for irrigating farms, powering machines and much more.

Aqua21’s water treatment technology using ozonation (a chemical free disinfectant) works at point of use. This is a completely different way of supplying water – dealing with the water and treating it where it is. In the future we can see a world where we use water of a certain quality for washing and watering, and only treating water to potable standard when it comes out of our home tap for drinking. It also enables businesses to use waste water and groundwater sources nearest to them and then treat at point of use to the required standard – even biocidal standard if they need it.

Our next blog ‘Is point of water treatment the future for global water supplies?’ explains how point of use technology works and how it could revolutionise global water supplies and offer a more sustainable and environmentally friendly solution.