By Will Vickery | Published
Without water, life on Earth would cease to exist. This fundamental and essential source of life can easily be taken for granted when you have easy access to safe water. However, for 785 million people across the world – 1 in 9 – who don’t enjoy this easy access, and with 4 billion people experiencing water scarcity for at least one month per year, awareness of the importance of access to safe water is rising.
With the ongoing effects of climate change, the number of people affected by this water crisis is due to rise, seeing up to 2/3rds of the world’s population affected by water stress by 2025.
The world water crisis has 2 mains components, a reduction in the availability of fresh water, and a lack of infrastructure to transport this fresh water to the people who need it.
The availability of fresh water is declining across the globe. The effects of climate change and the unsustainable extraction from natural aquifers are rapidly diminishing our supply of fresh water to potentially critical levels. Many household items we may not realise, from our clothing to our phones, require vast amounts of water, and this water footprint builds up quickly, which along with the food we eat takes water from the areas it needs to be.
And having enough water is only the beginning, as the infrastructure to transport this water to the people who need it is vital. In the USA, 6 billion gallons of treated water are lost per day due to leaking pipes, and the loss of ‘natural infrastructure’ through deforestation and urbanisation mean that what water we have is being either lost or made more difficult to obtain.
While in the UK our access to safe water may not yet be affected, we must remember the ongoing effects of climate change could change this. Last year, extreme weather conditions caused burst pipes that led to water shortages across London, and the city of Flint in Michigan, USA, has now been without access to clean water for 6 years. The water crisis does not only mean a lack of safe water, but a lack of infrastructure to easily access this water, infrastructure which could come under stress as weather conditions become worse.
Now more than ever, we must all take responsibility for how we use water to both reduce our impact on the environment, but also to ensure an ongoing supply of safe water is readily available. This involves ensuring that the water we consume is sustainably sourced and transported, and our impact on the environment is minimalised.
To this end, at Thirsty Work we are proud to source our own water from a natural spring in the hamlet of Burlawn, Cornwall. By sourcing our own water, we are ensuring that our customers are using water that is sourced from a safe, sustainable, local site, and distributed locally to ensure that we minimise emissions and our impact on climate change.