Global water consumption is currently at 4,600sq kilometres every year, and as a result of the ever-growing global population, and increased water demand in line with higher demands in terms of standards of living, this figure could increase to as much as 6000sq kilometres by 2050. Only 10% of total water consumption is used in the day-to-day life of global citizens, powering showers and washing machines for example. Industry demands 20% of total water consumption, and agricultural use, primarily to facilitate irrigation, accounts for a massive 70% of total global water usage.
Any used water from the domestic, industrial, commercial or agricultural sectors, any surface run off or stormwater or any sewer inflow or infiltration is considered wastewater. Shockingly, around 80% of all wastewater is released back into waterbodies, be that oceans, seas, lakes, ponds or wetlands without any treatment, resulting in deterioration of water quality around the world, and posing a serious threat to human health.
While the threat of water pollution looms large, so too does the troubling increase in water scarcity. In fact, the 2018 United Nations World Water Development Report 2018 cited that 1.9 billion people, 27% of the total global population, live in areas subject to water scarcity. Although water is categorised as a renewable resource, the fact that it is a precious commodity should never be underestimated. The reality of the importance of water conservation became very real this summer, as unprecedented weather experienced across Europe, and many days of drought, resulted in a ban on the use of all hose pipes in the months of July and August.