There is much talk of a coming crisis, with wars predicted over water.
However, unlike fossil fuels, water is never used up - it simply changes form. It can be returned to usable form through various water recycling options, using:
- Technology, e.g. advanced water treatment including reverse osmosis
- Natural ecosystems, e.g. through rivers and groundwater recharge, allowing the water to be reused at a later stage
- Artificial ecosystems, e.g. constructed wetlands, or
- A combination of these, e.g. an advanced water treatment plant discharging to an artificial wetland, which discharges to a river.
Water efficiency is obviously critical, including:
- Using water multiple times - e.g. water from basins, showers and washing clothes being used to flush toilets and to water gardens.
- Reducing losses (leaks) in the water distribution system.
- Using water efficient appliances. These are sometimes low cost (e.g. efficient shower heads) but sometimes expensive (front loading washing_machinesW).