A leading environmental expert has highlighted that Ireland’s ability to achieve sustainable use of water is now under long-term threat unless immediate action is taken.
According to the latest industry trends, the status of our water and wastewater infrastructure will fall behind our water needs and obligations for the protection of our water environment without continued government investment.
Speaking to delegates at the fifth annual Environment Ireland conference in Dublin, Teri Hayes, Director, WYG Ireland said: “The situation in relation to water is now reaching a critical phase. If we are serious about building a smart green economy with sustainability at its heart; water metering charges, legislation, public information, quality standards and availability of water saving technologies all have a place to play in maintaining a sustainable water environment throughout Ireland. However, any slowing in the implementation of these drivers for sustainable use of water, together with delays in upgrading our water infrastructure, will have long-term negative impacts on our environment and ability for future economic growth.”
Hayes highlighted the significant inefficiencies that currently exist and the scope for improvements, particularly around water conservation and cost management.
Many businesses are also now facing the economic requirement to decrease their water bills and minimise usage.
The UK’s Envirowise resource efficiency programme has estimated that up to 30 per cent of savings can be made by businesses on water and effluent bills by implementing simple measures.
Hayes cites that over the last three years, WYG Ireland, has worked with many different business types from hotels to public buildings to garden centres, in significantly reducing their water and energy costs. “In many cases, businesses are literally pouring their profits away with the financial equivalent of just under 40 bottles of champagne going down the drain every minute in wasted water,” said Hayes.