SoNaRR2020: Resource efficiency - water

This cross-cutting theme looks at the need to use water efficiently

Summary

Wales has a high rate of rainfall compared to most places in the UK, such as the south east of England. This gives the perception that using water efficiently isn't needed.

Whilst Wales experiences more intense rainfall events, it is also experiencing prolonged dry periods. Therefore, it is necessary to make sure that there is enough water available to get through these times.

Wales's rivers, lakes and wetlands support a huge variety of species, from salmon and otter, to insects (such as damselfly) and plants. These ecosystems and species rely on sufficient water in the environment. Taking less water when ecosystems and species are most vulnerable, such as at times of low flows, helps them be more resilient to increasing pressures. These include climate change pressures such as prolonged dry periods.

As well as being used in the home, water is essential to help drive the economy. It is a major factor in agriculture, energy generation (see energy efficiency chapter), manufacturing, industry and commerce. In Wales, water also provides a variety of recreation opportunities which boost well-being and tourism. A sustainable water supply is essential for the health and well-being of all.

Using less water reduces the impact on the environment, including Wales's carbon footprint, through reduced pumping, treating and heating of water.

Our assessment

Download the SoNaRR2020: Resource efficiency - water chapter (PDF)

This chapter identifies the need to reduce water use across all sectors to ensure sustainability of supply and demand and to support the resilience of ecosystems. The chapter also highlights how new technologies and behavioural changes can reduce our overall water use.

The pressures, impacts and opportunities for action identified by the Resource efficiency - water chapter can be found in the natural resource registers for the ecosystems.

The Resource efficiency - water chapter's evidence needs are included in the overall evidence needs table.