Global Waster Waste

Global Water Waste

The Top Statistics that Reveal the Environmental Damage of Water Wastage Worldwide.

An Introduction to Global Water Wastage

There are many aspects of daily living that have the power to impact the environment negatively. When taking into account every household, business, and service, these factors then have the power to increase environmental damage on a momentous, global scale.


Water waste is just one example of a damaging environmental factor, but it's an extremely significant one. It's very important for individuals, households, and businesses alike to understand the impact of water waste on the environment so that the world at large can work to a more sustainable future.


What is Water Wastage?

When talking about water waste, this can reference a few key areas. The water waste from a community of people is more commonly known as sewage. Household (or other buildings) wastewater can include the waste from toilets or from actions such as draining kitchen sinks.

Wastewater is, essentially, any water used to transport waste material from individuals and communities of people, and improperly treated or used, has the potential to pollute the environment.

Additionally, water waste is specifically using too much water. Water is a valuable natural asset, after all, and many individuals may be using more water than is needed and putting more and more demand on this natural supply.

A study conducted in 2020 revealed that a single member of a household in the UK could use up to 149 litres of water a day, on average. Consider a household of 5 people, and this number increases up to an average of 523 litres per day.


How Does Water Wastage Occur?

Simply using too much water can very easily be done by anyone. Running a very long shower, loading your washing machine too regularly, or leaving the tap running when brushing your teeth are all examples of how easy it is to waste this valuable resource.


In regard to sewage and wastewater from your pipes, damaging chemicals or cleaning products may be drained through your pipes, you may be using your sewage system too often, or it's always possible that large water treatment companies are not managing wastewater services in the best way to protect the environment.


What is the Impact of Wastewater on the Environment?

When considering the damage wastewater is capable of, the biggest threats to the environment are contamination and pollution. If sewage is not treated appropriately before being disposed of it, it can contaminate water and thereby put wildlife at great risk.


Furthermore, wastewater dispersed through flooding or leaks means that completely untreated water can enter water sources and pollute them.


The process of treating wastewater also requires fossil fuels. This means that wastewater treatment has the potential to increase carbon footprint and air quality.

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On a more personal level, protecting water as a resource on an individual basis is extremely important, both for the environment and your lifestyle. Trying to preserve the earth's water supply is fundamental for reducing pollution, protecting natural life, and reducing your energy consumption.


It can be very difficult to understand the global impact of wastewater when dealing with only your own wastewater services, and especially if you're trying to do everything you can to reduce the damage.


With statistics, you will better understand the collective impact of wastewater damage and know why focusing on damage limitation by every individual is so important.


That's why the following information and statistics will be vital for further understanding and building a better future for everyone.


Global Water Wastage Statistics

When considering the situation of water wastage and the earth's future, it's important to take into account daily water use and habits within other countries around the world. With these statistics, you can better understand how your own country (and therefore your own effort) is faring in comparison to other countries.

These statistics can show a shocking difference between water use statistics based on different countries. his is an important reminder of how all countries across the world need to work cohesively to lower water wastage and help save the environment. We're all living on the same planet, after all.

Belgium

The biggest daily consumer

Kenya

The smallest daily consumer

Country
Daily Water Used on Average by Individuals (litres)

USA

373

Japan

286.5

China

178

Australia

340

New Zealand

250-300

UK

142

Mexico

5.419

Germany

121

France

150

Belgium

7.406

Brazil

108

Kenya

50

Norway

180

Canada

329

Italy

6,500

Portugal

6,203

Spain

132

Russia

279

Israel

100-230

Is the average daily water use in your country higher

or lower than you expected?

The biggest daily consumer of water on an individual basis: Belgium

You might expect that the country to house the biggest water consumption on a daily basis would be the country to have the largest population: but China, which does have the world's largest population, has a smaller daily water consumption than Belgium.

It just goes to show how each individual's water usage can make a significant difference.

The smallest daily consumer of water on an individual basis: Kenya

Countries such as Kenya are often struggling with a water crisis, which throws into sharp relief how valuable a commodity like water is. For countries on this list using a high amount of daily water, countries like Kenya, in comparison, are using

very little simply because they do not have access to safe water.

It's now more important than ever to preserve the water which the world does have.  

UK Water Waste Statistics

When considering water waste and usage in the UK, it's important to take into account those water companies providing your water and sewage service. Alongside individual households, it's important for UK water companies to monitor their own practices too.

Water stress indicates where water, as a natural resource, is insufficient for the demands being made in that particular area. It is this water demand that UK water companies will be dealing with on a regular basis.

You may not have considered that different areas with the same country could differvastly in water stress levels, but the following statistics outline those areas of the UK dealing with serious water stress and those areas of the UK which are low in classification.

Water Company Area
Water Stress Score
Impact
Essex and Suffolk Water

41

Serious

Folkestone and Dover Water

41

Serious

Southern Water

40

Serious

Thames Water

40

Serious

Three Valleys Water

40

Serious

Portsmouth Water

39

Serious

Sutton and East Surrey Water

39

Serious

Cambridge Water

36

Serious

South East Water

36

Serious

Mid Kent Water

36

Serious

Bournemouth and West Hampshire Water

34

Serious

Anglian Water

24

Serious

South Staffordshire Water

32

Moderate

South West Water

31

Moderate

Tendring Hundred Water

31

Moderate

Severn Trent Water

29

Moderate

United Utilities

27

Low

Bristol Water

25

Low

Northumbrian Water

25

Low

Yorkshire Water

25

Low

Cholderton and District Water

24

Low

Wessex Water

22

Low

Anglian Water

N/A

Low

 (Low being under 28, High being over 34)

Out of 23 UK water suppliers, 16 are seeing moderate to high water stress levels.

Which area of the UK do you live in? If you live in an area of severely high-stress levels when it comes to water, does this change your thinking regarding water waste and what your own household is doing on a daily basis?

If you live in an area of the UK with low to moderate stress levels, can you pinpoint the good water practices that are effective and, therefore, outline the

importance of continuing with them?


Other UK Water Waste Statistics

When dealing with water waste statistics, it's important to view these numbers in the simplest terms and in relation to your own daily habits. While large

country-wide statistics for water companies and services can be daunting, the following statistics are simply to outline the reality of water waste in regard

to the UK water supply.

More than 3 billion litres of water is lost through leaky pipes

Almost 17.6% of water pumped through UK pipes gets wasted

8 out of 10 UK residents are guilty of at least one water-wasting habit. Therefore, 80% of UK residents are wasting water regularly.

The average UK person uses 150 litres of water every day.

Does knowing that 8 out of 10 UK residents easily waste water change your view on your own daily habits? When meeting with friends and family of a group of 10, how do you feel thinking that 8 of you might be responsible for significant water waste? These statistics are there to help outline what you can do to help and what positive changes even one individual can make in their daily routine at home.

How easily do you ignore leaky pipes or fail to conduct maintenance checks in your home to find any leaks? Three billion litres of water is a significant amount to waste of a valuable resource, for a reason that could be avoided if UK residents actively checked and maintained leaks.

You could use this knowledge to better handle your own home and plumbing maintenance, and help others to understand improved practices to preserve water, too.


Common UK Water Wasting Habits

Your daily routine may find you extremely busy. Jobs and household responsibilities may mean that water wastage is the last thing on your mind. Or, maybe you already think you're doing everything you can to preserve water without fully understanding the statistics.

That's why the following information is here to help. If you're guilty of any of the following water waste habits, the table has information on how you can rectify this going forward. You may also want to pass on this knowledge to other household members, friends, and family to encourage better water habits all round.

Some UK households may even be guilty of all of the following water wasting habits at once. It's easily done, but what matters is being more mindful of water usage and working to rectify it.

Water Wasting Habit
Percentage Of Brits
How to Rectify This
Having the tap running when washing face
21%

Fill the sink up instead to save water. Before you begin your cleansing routine, fill your sink with enough water (and not more than you need). That way, you also don't have to worry about trying to fid the tap to turn it off when your eyes are closed!

Taking deep baths
26%

Reduce your bath water by a small amount. Deep baths are relaxing and, naturally, you'll need enough water for a good soak. However, reducing your bath water by even an inch can help to save a lot more water without affecting your bath experience at all.

Wasting water when cooking or preparing food
29%

Catch and reuse excess water. Cooking is a demanding (and sometimes stressful) endeavour, especially with large meals, but that's also why lots of water can easily be wasted. Instead of running your tap to wash vegetables, for example, catch the water and reuse it.

Filling up the kettle with too much water
21%

Only fill the kettle with the exact amount needed for the purpose. Most kettles will have an indicator on the side which outlines how much water is needed for the desired number of cups. Try not to exceed this and stick to the guide.

Leaving the tap running when brushing teeth
21%

Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth. Not only can this help to preserve water, but it may also mean you have a more thorough cleaning. When the tap is running, it can give a sense of urgency to the task or may mean you only have a quick brush. Turn the tap off and concentrate on a thorough 2-minute teeth cleaning, whilst preserving water at the same time!


Further Water Waste Statistics and Information

Having access to clean and safe drinking water is something that many countries — the UK included — can take for granted. It's something which comes

naturally, which you always have a handy supply of, and which you might not have given much thought to. You can take a shower whenever you need, grab a

glass of water, or put the washing machine on when your laundry basket is full.

It's all part of normal daily life. However, in some countries, even basic access to improved drinking water is difficult. Some people may even be living in water-scarce conditions. This is the reality of why water preservation is so important, and the following statistics can outline current water waste situations to help remind you why preserving water — even in the simplest ways — is so important.

Water Waste Issue
UK or Global
Statistic Estimate
Having no access to improved drinking water

Global

Living in water-scarce conditions

Global

Growing demand for water supply

Global

Filling up the kettle with too much water

Global

Leaving the tap running when brushing teeth

UK

Excessive consumption of water by industry and commerce

UK

Having access to clean and safe drinking water is something that many countries — the UK included — can take for granted. It's something which comes naturally, which you always have a handy supply of, and which you might not have given much thought to. You can take a shower whenever you need, grab a glass of water, or put the washing machine on when your laundry basket is full. It's all part of normal daily life.

However, in some countries, even basic access to improved drinking water is difficult. Some people may even be living in water-scarce conditions. This is the reality of why water preservation is so important, and the following statistics can outline current water waste situations to help remind you why preserving water — even in the simplest ways — is so important.


Summarising Points for Global Wastewater Production, Collection, Treatment, and Reuse

Below are some key facts and statistics in regard to wastewater. This is to help you better understand what happens to your wastewater when it leaves your home or business, is collected, and is treated. This entire process has the potential to affect the environment in a significant way.

Approx

63%

of globally produced wastewater is collected.


Approx

52%

of globally produced wastewater is treated.


Approx

84%

of collected wastewater undergoes a treatment process.

11%

The percentage of wastewater reuse is approximately 11% of total wastewater


Approx

22%

of treated wastewater goes through intentional reuse


Approx

84%

The remaining amount release int o the environment

There are significant differences in wastewater production, collection, treatment, and reuse across different geographical regions. These differences can also be based on the level of economic development.

As you can see, not all wastewater is capable of being treated and reused to reap the benefits. If only 63% of globally produced wastewater is collected, the remaining 37% percent is failing to be collected, therefore putting the environment at risk.


6 Key Water and Water Waste Facts

Only 1% of the world's water is safe for us to consume. This highlights just how precious a resource like water is and what wasting any of this 1% could do.

It's possible for 5 gallons of water to be wasted simply by leaving the tap on when you're brushing your teeth.

27% of a household's water is used for showers and baths. Think how much water can then be wasted by constantly taking baths, having very long showers, or more than one shower a day.

Around 3.5 gallons of water is used for a single toilet flush.

Washing machines can use around 40 gallons of water per load.

Around 9,400 gallons of water can be wasted through water leaks, based on US figures.


Predictions for the Future

When it comes to the future of the environment on a global scale, the future may appear very bleak in terms of global warming and natural pollution if individuals do not try and make a positive difference today.


In terms of water consumption and supply, key predictions for the future can include:

  • A growing world population will significantly increase the demand for water supply.
  • Areas of the world that are already seeing difficulty in freshwater supply may have this situation worsen.
  • An estimated 1.8 billion people will suffer from water shortage in their area by 2025.
  • By 2025, that means two-thirds of the global population will be living in regions of high water stress.
  • The global agriculture market will require another 1 trillion cubic meters of water annually if the increase in population continues to the estimated 1 billion more mouths to feed by 2025.
  • The number of nations expected to be water scarce has increased; this is now projected to be 30 nations by 2025, increased by ten since 1990.
  • Global warming will only worsen the water supply situation.
  • If current trends don't see any drastic change, the world will only have 60% of its necessary water supply in 2030.



Conservation and Sustainability Efforts

Being more conservative and sustainable with water usage is the key to making a positive difference to the current water situation that is facing the world. While plenty of people are already taking action, word must be spread about the importance of not wasting water to ensure people start taking action.

There are three main types of sustainability efforts. They come in the form of:

  1. Rules and regulations set by countries
  2. Campaigns to Conserve the Use of Water
  3. Government Initiatives and Schemes


Each sustainability effort will approach this in its own way, but knowing the different efforts out there that you could support is crucial.


Wastewater Rules and Regulations Across the World

Counties worldwide are already putting in place effective water solutions. Take a look at the facts below to give you a better idea of who has had the most success so far and what regulations countries must follow.

  • Based on performance ranking, the top five countries in the world which have the most effective wastewater treatment programs are Malta (100 score), Netherlands (99.9 score), Luxembourg (99.76 score), Spain (99.71 score), and Switzerland (99.67 score).
  • Namibia is the only country that uses recycled water for direct potable use.
  • The Council Directive 91/271/EEC, set out in 1991, states the official regulations for all members of the European Union in regard to wastewater management. This directive's aim is to protect the environment, and outlines rules such as monitoring the performance of treatment plants, required secondary water treatment, and the collection of water in populations less than 2000, to name a few.



Campaigns to Conserve the Use of Water

Many brands, companies, and charities are doing their part to help conserve water — and to help educate the general public, across the world, about protecting the water supply. Here are some of the top campaigns to be aware of.

Waterwise's Pledge 2021

This initiative's aim is to encourage people to try and save 2021 litres of water in 2021 by changing their daily routine and following supplied tips for water preserving.

Water UK's Water's Worth Saving

This campaign sees Water UK and Waterwise join forces to provide easy-to-follow water-saving tips.

Water Saving Week

This is an annual online event that serves to highlight the importance of saving water and encourages the sharing of ideas and solutions

World Water Day

This digital campaign is to celebrate water and tackle the world's water crisis. One of its main focuses is to raise awareness regarding those people who do not have safe access to water.

Government Initiatives and Schemes 20

It is not just non-for-profits trying to tackle this problem; over the years, government schemes have been put in place. These are the top schemes:

The OECD Water Governance Program

This framework advises governments on all levels on how to implement improved water policies in order to improve lives.

The Water Action Decade 2018-2028

Formed to tackle and avert a global water crisis, the UN General Assembly launched this plan of action to better manage the world's water supply.

The UK Water Environment Grant

This scheme was devised to provide funding in order to improve water in rural England. This includes lakes, canals, rivers, and coastal waters.


What You Can Do to Waste Less Water

Protecting the environment starts at home. It's extremely important to make active efforts to change your water waste habits. It may seem like an impossible task or a big responsibility when you're viewing the state of the world, but always remember that even the simplest changes you make at home can make a positive difference — and that's just for one person living alone. A family of 4 which develops the same water improvement habits, for example, can make even more of a difference within the same household. It's also important to support other household members, or people you know, in water-saving habits. Always share any information or tips you have, including the ones listed here.

Some ways you can waste less water include:

Install low-flow systems, such as showerheads

Many people opt for a bathroom overhaul or renovation project, so why not make it one which benefits your water consumption, too? Make your home as eco-friendly as possible when it comes to your plumbing.

Not only do low-flow systems help you to preserve water, but they also mean you can save money on your energy bills.


What low flow means is reduced water pressure in order to save as much water as possible. Low flow is particularly beneficial for busy households which see a lot of bathroom traffic.

Take shorter showers and half-full baths

Be more mindful about why you're taking a long shower. It's easily done, especially during winter months, to take a longer, hotter shower. Some people may even decide to multi-task and try brushing their teeth in the shower! Others may put the shower on to get the water running whilst sorting laundry or attending to other bathroom tasks.

Eliminate this excess water waste by turning the shower on when you're ready to get in and limiting your shower to a few minutes.

In regard to baths, if you're taking a quick bath for basic hygiene, you can avoid a completely full bath. If for relaxation, think about limiting your water level by even just an inch or two.

Avoid laundry loads if they are only half full

Laundry can be very difficult to separate and keep on top of, especially within busy households. There may be certain clothing items you desperately need but for which you haven't got enough corresponding clothes or colours to warrant a full load.

Having better organisation with your clothing and laundry system will really help. Try to avoid half-full laundry loads. If there are certain clothing items you know you like to wear often, be more organised ahead of time so that you can put items in a full load rather than last-minute half-load panics!

Another tip is to think about the type of materials and colours you're buying. If you have a few delicate items which cannot be used on a normal wash, you might be risking half-full delicate cycles to wash them. Furthermore, you may have a lot more dark colours than you do light, meaning you're forced to run a half-load for your light items only. Avoid this if you can by sticking to colours and materials which can easily be washed together. Let this build up over time so that you eventually have delicate whites in with other white clothes and delicate blacks with coloured clothing, which you can put on delicate washes.

Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth

There's no reason for your tap to be on when brushing your teeth, and it's a simple fix that can save a significant amount of water. It's important to let your kids know this, too, if you do have younger family members who brush their teeth without you to supervise.


Turn the tap on when you need a quick burst of water for a refresh, but, otherwise, leave the tap off.

Only fill the sink half-full for washing up

Doing the dishes is another daily chore that becomes normality, and you may not realise that you're wasting water. While you do need to fill up your sink to the optimum level for hygiene purposes and an easier clean, you can make small adjustments

to limit water waste.


If you don't have a lot of items to wash, does it warrant a full sink? Or, if you know you're going to need to fill up your sink with fresh water halfway through because of particularly dirty or stubborn items, can you ensure the first load

is shallow if it's going to be replaced?

Collect rainwater

Doing the dishes is another daily chore that becomes normality, and you may not realise that you're wasting water. While you do need to fill up your sink to the optimum level for hygiene purposes and an easier clean, you can make small adjustments

to limit water waste.


If you don't have a lot of items to wash, does it warrant a full sink? Or, if you know you're going to need to fill up your sink with fresh water halfway through because of particularly dirty or stubborn items, can you ensure the first load

is shallow if it's going to be replaced?


What a Business Can Do to Waste Less Water

Businesses need to try even harder to lower their environmental impact, alongside household habits. Businesses are capable of wasting a significant amount of water, especially those with extremely large premises and lots of employees.

If you're a business manager or owner, here are some things you can do to preserve water:

Have regular water audits conducted

This is essential for preserving water. Being a business leader or owner doesn't mean you'll always know what's best in regard to preserving water. You may not even know the ways in which your business or premises is easily wasting water.

Water audits by professionals can help you to always keep on track and learn about new ways to save on water. This could also help with your business utility bills.

Install water-efficient equipment

This might vary depending on what your business is and what is installed within the premises. Nevertheless, even for the simplest features such as bathroom taps, you can make sure your plumbing and equipment are eco-friendly with water-saving in mind.


This is particularly true of any cafeteria or kitchen equipment you have in the workplace.

Educate employees on water-saving practices

No matter how well-versed the people in charge are in regard to water-saving practices, it can be a large team of employees who have the most negative impact — without knowing it. If you have employees using your premises every day, there is a high amount of potential for water wastage.

It's, therefore, crucial to educate your employees on the importance of an eco-friendly workplace and how they can work to save water on a daily basis. They can then even take these key tips home with them to conduct better practices in their personal life, too. It's much easier for people to develop better water habits when their work life and home life are working hand-in-hand.

Do your research on the best water suppliers

It's always important for businesses to get the best deal when it comes to their water supply, but this is about more than simply the cost. By doing your research on the best water supplier in your area and for your business water demand, you're ensuring you can get the most efficient service with minimal wastage.

Businesses should put a firm focus on good communication for environmental issues, so all employees know what to do within the business premises to preserve water.

If you're not a business leader, but you do work in a business setting, there are good habits you can also adopt as an employee during the working day. Keeping household tips in mind, you can apply the same logic to your work environment.

Is there any way you can collect rainwater on windowsills or outside, which you can then use to water any office plants? Can you ensure you're not overfilling the kettle when making drinks for yourself or the team? If your workplace is one that has an on-site bathroom or changing facility, can you ensure you have

short showers?

Useful Links and FAQs

Links

You can donate to water-saving charities and find out more information with a list of the best water charities here: https://donorbox.org/nonprofit-blog/nonprofits-fighting-global-water-crisis/


You can find useful tips about reducing your environmental impact with the WWF here: https://www.worldwildlife.org/pages/green-tips

The Eden Project provides even more great water-saving tips at home here: https://www.edenproject.com/learn/for-everyone/water-saving-tips

The National Ocean Service provides key information regarding protecting the planet, including water consumption, here: https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/ocean/earthday.html

Stay up to date with Earth Day every year, and get involved here: https://www.earthday.org/earth-day-2021/

Businesses can find more information here on preserving water: https://www3.epa.gov/region1/eco/drinkwater/water_conservation_biz.html

FAQs

Where can I find more information regarding water-saving practices?

There are many online resources for further water-saving tips. Official water suppliers (including your own) will always provide information on how to preserve water.

How can I get involved in official water-saving schemes?

Always check online and on social media for the latest water-saving trends. Be sure to follow big companies on social media, such as WWF, and charities like Charity: Water.

How can I better understand my own water consumption?

Installing a smart mete