Tom Melhuish 4 min read

Which industry consumes the most water in the UK?

The supply of clean water comes at an environmental cost that is often not considered by businesses trying to improve their sustainability. Treatment and transportation of water is a carbon-intensive process that is less obvious than the environmental damage caused by electricity and gas supply.

Worse still, British water demand is expected to exceed the current supply by 40% by 2030, according to The Water Resources Group It’s time to reevaluate your organisation’s water consumption and look for ways to improve.

This article explores the industries and products that consume the most water and gives business owners some ideas to reduce business water consumption.

What are the highest consuming industries of water in the UK?

Here is a breakdown of the UK’s water-consuming industries.

  1. Agriculture
  2. Food production
  3. Hospitality (Hotels and restaurants)
  4. Electricity and gas production
  5. Retail and trade

Source: Research Gate

How many litres of water does it take to make a single product?

Chocolate – 17,196 Litres per Kg. Beef – 15,415 Litres per Kg. Pork – 4,325 Litres per Kg. Chicken – 4,325 Litres per Kg. Eggs – 3,300 Litres per Kg. Cheese – 3,178 Litres per Kg. Rice – 2,497 Litres per Kg. Wheat bread – 1,608 Litres per Kg. Maise – 1,222 Litres per Kg. Apple – 822 Litres per Kg. Orange – 560 Litres per Kg. Potato – 287 Litres per Kg.

Source: IFT

Did you know: It takes 147,631 litres of water on average to produce a car.

Which country consumes the most water?

  1. China: 1.5 billion people, 1646 billion cubic metres.
  2. United States: 300 million people, 982 billion cubic metres.
  3. Brazil: 175 million people, 432 billion cubic metres.
  4. Russia: 143 million people, 323 billion cubic metres.
  5. Mexico: 100 million people, 241 billion cubic metres.
  6. India: 1.1 billion people, 136 billion cubic metres.
  7. England: 60 million people, 91 billion cubic metres.
  8. France: 60 million people, 91 billion cubic metres.
  9. Canada: 33 million people, 86 billion cubic metres.
  10. Australia: 20 million people, 55 billion cubic metres.

Source: National Water Footprint Accounts

What you can do to reduce your annual water consumption as a business

There are plenty of ways to reduce your water consumption. Some are pretty easy to implement and will make a positive impact in the short term, and others can be implemented as a long-term strategy.

Here are a few examples of how you can reduce your water consumption as a business:

  • Rainwater harvesting. Recycling water is integral to sustaining the UK’s water supply.
  • Regular checks for leaks. It’s essential to have your premises regularly checked for leaks. Leaks occurring underground can go unnoticed for months and will waste a considerable amount of water that your business will be liable to pay for.
  • Water efficiency devices. Using water efficiency devices will see your business water usage dramatically drop. Using devices like a tap aerator and a cistern reduction device will reduce the amount of water used per wash/flush.

Switch your business water supplier today

Switch business water suppliers today. You should consider comparing business water tariffs to ensure you’re paying competitive business water rates. Comparing suppliers takes minutes and can allow you to save on your annual water bill.

Some suppliers are now offering sustainable business water tariffs.

How much could you save?

Start saving now

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