Water charges have risen substantially in recent years and are likely to continue rising in the future. Businesses costs for water arise in three areas — water supply charges (£/m3), sewerage charges (£/m3) and standing charges for both services. An additional cost, which many businesses fail to recognise, is the cost of heating water that is not used efficiently. This is becoming ever more critical as energy costs rise.

Using the “Plan-Do-Check-Act” model, adapted by environmental management systems, this topic introduces a practical water management system that shows how to use water more efficiently, minimise effluent discharges and reduce costs overall. This topic outlines the changes in the water industry since 2017, explains water footprinting and introduces ISO 14046, which is designed to improve water management across the whole life cycle.

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