Thanks to bottled water marketing campaigns, the reputation of tap water has become somewhat cloudy. There has never been anything wrong with UK tap water, but marketing tactics have left millions thinking otherwise. Bottled water is shown as ‘pure’ and filtered from any nasties for so long; leaving many to believe tap water was too dirty to drink safely in comparison. Thankfully the days of bottled water greenwashing are fading. We dispelled many of these myths recently, showing how tap water is not only a better option for the environment but your health too. Now, we’re looking at the future of UK tap water because the story doesn’t end with us opting for tap instead of bottled.
Is the future of UK tap water in Paris?
Last week we briefly alluded to the Netflix series Down To Earth starring Zac Efron. Episode two talks about water in its entirety, from TDS (total dissolved solids) numbers to magic miracle healing water in France.
Part of their journey showed us what the future of UK tap water could look like. It was in Paris, where tap water is free throughout the city with the use of fountains. We know what you’re thinking. Water fountains aren’t a revelation – in fact, it’s old news. What makes Paris so different is how they allow people to access it.
There are more than 1,000 drinking fountains in the city, all of which are easily located through an app. They’re not oversized ugly signposted items, they’re understated and can blend into their surroundings. The publicly owned system features still and sparkling water fountains, and the money made from the set-up is reinvested back into the local economy. The model has proved so popular that 500 countries around the world are adopting it.
Could this be something big cities such as London and Manchester could adopt? It certainly provides a solution to our bottled water issue.
The logistics of a growing population
While water is far more accessible in the UK compared to other nations; there is the concern that a growing population could put a spanner in the works. Population growth is a global concern, of course, the more people, the more pressure on infrastructure and the environment.
One of the biggest challenges that communities face in rural dry countries is accessing water. Building infrastructure that can transport water from reservoirs and natural water sources to towns and villages is a big task. Especially when lakes and rivers aren’t in abundance.
With a growing population in the UK, towns are getting bigger, and people are spreading out. This means that rural areas, where there is little infrastructure in place for collecting and transporting water, are increasing the pressure on existing systems. Some of our waterways are over 200 years old in the UK! It’s essential to build more facilities to keep up with demand and growth, but we know this can’t happen overnight.
A growing population is driving the future of UK tap water. The balancing act of getting water to UK homes becomes more difficult with every new housing development. This demand for water in the future is why learning to save and use it wisely is a priority now.
Breaking the stigma around tap water
Ultimately, we need to break multiple stigmas surrounding tap water for it to have a valued future. We need to understand it’s healthier and better for the environment and us compared to bottled water. We need to recognise it’s a precious resource that cannot be magicked out of thin air and requires a delicate process to safely reach our homes. Most importantly, we must realise it is not something to waste.
We’ve recently added some activities to our member’s area, including a water-saving checklist for you to download and use at home. It’s time to put your knowledge into practice and see how many litres you can save in a week. The first step to valuing and saving water is understanding how we use it in our homes every day.