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There’s More to Water Than Drinking It

There's more to water than drinking it
Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay

It can sometimes seem like we view water first and foremost as what hydrates us. Naturally, given that we need hydration to live as a species, it’s not surprising that we see water this way. But water goes far beyond merely drinking to satisfy our thirst.

Even a child could name various processes done using water that doesn’t involve drinking it—cleaning the dishes, washing clothes, swimming, etc. But beyond that, a lot is being done with water that you might not fully realize then just drinking it for hydration.

Given the amount of water used in industry, people seem to have overlooked the use of water in business. Factories can’t just hook up to the local tap, you know. Rather, dedicated business water companies provide sustainable and reliable water for business and industry.

Those water companies don’t just supply water but help monitor it for good legal compliance and ensure water drainage does not harm the environment.

Sanitation

Let’s dive right in, or actually, thankfully not since we’re essentially talking about sewage. It has been said many times that the invention of sanitation systems improved the lives of human beings so dramatically that sanitation goes down in history as one of the most important inventions ever.

With proper sanitation, including sewage systems, septic tanks, and water treatment facilities, we no longer live in constant fear of dying tomorrow over what we drank yesterday. However, it should be stressed that there are still places in the world that are less developed, that don’t have access to clean and reliable water, and we ought to help those countries as much as possible.

Those countries that are fortunate enough not to suffer from terrible climates that make water scarce can use water for sanitation more readily.

Construction

It takes a lot of water to make concrete, and the building sector has been told many times that it must improve its water footprint. We generally mean that the environment must be at the core of water procurement, use, and drainage by water footprint. The construction industry has made efforts in response to continued government legislation, but there is still quite a way to go.

It’s not so much a problem of miscommunication as it is that so much construction is needed in the United Kingdom every day. As a result, the processes needed to overhaul water usage policies can never find a gap in operations to be implemented successfully.

Instead, the government is trying a bottom-up approach where small companies are encouraged to reduce their water use in the hope that they will later become larger companies and take their environmentally positive attitudes toward water up the ladder.

Agriculture

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Image by WikimediaImages from Pixabay

In some regions of the world, there is already an acute water shortage. With continued overexploitation, waste, and poisoning of the locally and regionally available resources, this situation will worsen significantly in the coming decades.

The world agricultural report warns of sharper conflicts within society and between countries, including violent conflicts and wars over water.

Agriculture could avoid many things: the cultivation of maize, cotton, and other water consumers in areas that are too dry for this, inefficient cultivation and irrigation systems that also salinize the soil, the deforestation of water-storing forests, evaporation on fallow land and the sometimes dramatic overexploitation of groundwater sources.

Chemicals

The chemical industry needs water to produce many oils and materials you find in the supermarket. Steaming, cooling, cleaning; there’s a lot of water used in the chemical industry.

Most of the water required for chemical industries is used either for the primary production of the chemicals themselves or for cleaning the premises.

Now in that latter point lies some hope in so far as cleaning doesn’t always need to be done by the purest mountain spring water. Indeed, many factories around Europe reuse the water they need in hydrolysis to clean the factories themselves.

The chemical refinement industry is no stranger to this practice either, and you’ll find every developed chemical plant reuses water as much as possible.

Water reuse makes good environmental sense, but it is also great for reducing overheads because business water costs money to pipe in.

Car Production

512px Geely assembly line in Beilun Ningbo 300x225 - There’s More to Water Than Drinking It
Siyuwj, CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Car manufacturing uses most of its water for washing and painting cars. When cars have been painted, there will be excess paint lying around, and water is used to get that paint out of the system so more cars can be brought in. That’s a lot of water being used, and car companies are beginning to feel the burden of the government telling them to find better ways of clearing extra paint.

Car companies have responded by introducing more targeted spray painters and introducing paint-within-mould systems that see technology such as 3D printers make components to the desired color in the first place.

Fabrics

Whether it’s dying or cleaning, you name it. Much water is used within the fabrics and textiles industry. This problem is further compounded because these industries tend to be based in lesser developed countries where water purity legislation is not as advanced.

People suffer thanks to pollution. One of the ways we can deal with this is perhaps by paying a bit more to have our products made in countries with good environmental records. Given the rise of environmentalism in the West, it would not be surprising if tomorrow’s generation started to accept that it simply must pay more money to ensure a better environmental record on its conscience.

Whatever it’s used for, as long as it’s treated properly and drained appropriately, there shouldn’t need to be much conflict between the environment and industry. The latter has to evolve into a place where business can be done but not at the cost of the planet. There’s more to water than drinking it!

Featured Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay

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