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Net Zero and the Role of Water Efficiency – Waterwise (2021)

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  • This Waterwise paper, prepared with input from the UK WESSG Energy & Water T&F Group, looks at the role that reducing water consumption, even by modest amounts, can play in delivering significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and helping society reach Net Zero
  • Around 6% of the UKs total greenhouse gas emissions are from household water supply and use. This equates to over 2.6 kg CO2e per home per day. Approximately 90% of these water related emissions are from how we use water in the home. The rest are emissions from water companies supplying water and removing and treating wastewater.  The water sector has recently committed to reaching Net Zero by 2030 for its operational emissions. Modest reductions in household water use of 5-6% can deliver annual emissions savings of around 1.3 MtCO2e.  This is a bigger saving that was actually achieved in the whole UK housing sector in 2017-18 or in 2018-19. A 10-12% reduction in household water use could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by a similar amount to the total operational emissions of the whole UK water sector (circa 2.4 MtCO2e).