11. Water

This subject investigates how to conserve water protect waterways and reduce the strain on water production and treatment plants.

Water is the new oil, a valuable, scarce, necessary, highly sought after and protected commodity. It has been estimated that by 2025, 1.8 billion people in the world will live in water scarce areas.[1] Including water conservation and waste water management into your event will be an integral part of its sustainability, now and in the future.

Water management issues include:

  • water supply
  • water conservation
  • protection of waterways
  • responsible waste water processing

Conserving water and efficiently managing waste water and sewage plays an important role in reducing the environmental impacts of an event.

Providing water is a health and safety requirement to most events. Sustainable water management includes reducing water wastage, eliminating the use of chemicals, and potentially the re-use of grey water.

Key considerations are:

  • What volume of water is used at the event, per person per day?
  • How is water supplied to the event site?
  • What volume of waste water (sewage and grey water) are produced?
  • How is waste water disposed of?
  • Are any chemical/toxic contaminants present in event operations which will make their way to waste water?
  • Are natural waterways in the immediate vicinity to the event site which need consideration and protection?
  • Is the event held in a watershed and are any event activities likely to produce emissions which will make their way into the natural water system?

Water is used and waste water produced at events through:

  • Standpipes and free drinking taps
  • Catering & Food Stalls
  • Cleaning
  • Toilets & Showers
  • Handwash Facilities
  • Misting stations at hot and dry events
  • Dust Settling
  • Groups Preparation & Gardening


LINK: Waterfootprint: www.waterfootprint.org

[1] The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations reports that water usage has been growing at more than twice the rate of population increase in the last century and that by 2025, 1.8 billion people will be living in countries or regions with absolute water scarcity and two-thirds of the world population could be under stress conditions. Food and Agriculture Organisation, www.fao.org/nr/water/issues/scarcity.html, accessed January 2009