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Is London Heading For a Water Crunch?

Water recovery and re-use technology could become a key risk management tool for London's businesses as changing weather patterns, population growth and evolving regulation increase the potential for UK plc to face a future 'water crunch'. (Environment)

Bristol, Uk (PRWEB) October 11, 2009 -- The warning comes from sustainability experts Envirowise and follows research which found that 70% of sustainability specialists consider the threat of dwindling water supplies to be equal to the impact of carbon emissions, while 54% believe the world will run out of water before it runs out of fuel1.

It is predicted that UK groundwater will begin to decrease by 2025, with the overall amount of water available in English and Welsh rivers reducing by 15 per cent by 20502.

In London, the issue is a particularly pressing one - the Environment Agency has identified the region as under serious water stress3, highlighting the need for water efficiency measures to be implemented. In addition, many companies could face changes to licences granted to allow water abstraction as result of the Water Act 20034.

Sophie Greenhalgh, Envirowise Regional Manager for London, said: "Water is set to become one of the most dramatically affected resources as the impact of climate change takes hold, but many businesses are not aware of the steps they can take to mitigate against this risk.

"Companies in the capital should explore practical steps including water saving devices and water recovery and reuse technology such as membrane filtration systems, which enable a large proportion of wastewater to be reused for processes such as heating, cooling and cleaning. This can result in major cost savings through lower mains water and disposal charges, as well as an enhanced environmental reputation with customers and investors.

"Taking such action now could not only pay enormous dividends in future years, it can also lead to short-term benefits. In fact, recent Envirowise research5 revealed that UK companies could be missing out on combined savings of up to £10 million per day by failing to make changes in this area."

UK businesses which pay income or corporation tax can also claim tax relief on recovery and reuse systems and water saving devices through the Water Technology List (WTL), which is managed by Defra and HM Revenue & Customs in partnership with Envirowise as part of the Enhanced Capital Allowance (ECA) scheme for water-efficient technology.

Further information on the benefits of reducing water usage is available at

Issued on behalf of Envirowise and the WTL by Trimedia. For further media information please contact Abi Dare or Davinia Livock on 0117 929 2311.

Notes to editors

1)    Statistics taken from, issue by WSP Energy & Environment, September 2009
2) Statistics taken from 'Water for people and the environment: Water Resources Strategy for England and Wales', Environment Agency, March 2009
3)   From 'Water resources in England and Wales - current state and future pressures', Environment Agency, December 2008 (
4)    'The Water Act 2003: Modernising the Regulation of Water Resources', published by the Environment Agency and available at
5)    Estimate based on data taken from 'A Review of Water Use in Industry and Commerce' Addendum Report, Envirowise, March 2008

About Envirowise:
Envirowise is a Government-funded programme dedicated to putting the sustainable use of resources at the heart of UK business practice.

Since 1994 Envirowise has helped UK businesses save over £1bn by enabling them to significantly reduce their environmental footprints.

Envirowise offers businesses of all sizes and sectors a wide range of free, independent and practical advice designed to genuinely improve their processes, profitability and competitiveness. Services include:

  • The Envirowise Advice Line on 0800 585794
  • An encyclopaedic website ( of valuable and relevant   information
  • Over 200 events each year, from Product Design Workshops to major exhibitions

About the WTL:
Managed by Defra and HM Revenue & Customs in partnership with Envirowise, the WTL provides a selection of water efficient products that meet published eligibility criteria. The web-based list, available at, is part of the Enhanced Capital Allowance (ECA) scheme for water saving technologies, enabling UK businesses which pay income or corporation tax to claim 100 per cent first-year capital allowances when they purchase listed products for use in their business. This provides a helpful cash flow boost and results in a shortened payback period, allowing companies to quickly reap the financial benefits of water efficiency.

Since its launch in 2003, the WTL has grown to encompass more than 1,800 products which qualify for tax relief. These cover categories ranging from efficient taps and toilets to membrane filtration systems, mechanical seals, efficient washing machines and vehicle wash reclaim units.

resource efficiency, reducing waste, environmental management, waste management, environmental impact


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