Why water efficiency is so important in Scotland?

Rachel Elliott, Water Efficiency Strategy, Scottish Water

When you live in Scotland it is easy to look out the window and think we don’t need to worry about saving water. In fact ‘dreich’ – which means wet, damp, dull, grey, gloomy weather – was recently voted the nations favourite scots word.

But the truth is that even though it might feel like it’s always raining, it doesn’t always rain where we need it to. In reality we only have access to less than 1% of total rainfall for drinking water. We also share our water supplies with the natural environment, so we need to make sure we only take what we need so that our local plants and animals can thrive as well.

It also takes a lot of energy to treat and transport drinking water and waste water to and from our homes and businesses. So it’s important to save water at all times of the year, whatever the weather.

It’s important that water management is seen as a key part of our collective journey to a more sustainable world, and alongside actions like reducing food waste and increasing active travel, saving water is something that everyone can do to help reduce their own, and the nations, carbon footprint.

Scottish Water is working with communities to support them in achieving their own sustainability goals through water efficiency, and we have recently set up a multi stakeholder group to focus on how we can further enable people and businesses in Scotland to save water, and how water efficiency can be embedded into our society.   

Like all sustainability goals, becoming a more water efficient country is going to be a team effort. This means water companies improving the efficiency of their processes, reducing leakage and giving customers support and advice, it means ensuring all products on the market are water efficient, and that homes are built to minimise water waste, and it means communities and individuals using only the water they need.

By working together we can protect what is arguably our most valuable natural asset and achieve the Waterwise vision, to create a UK where water is used wisely, every day, everywhere.