Water bills could quadruple for Irish businesses
The price of water would quadruple in Ireland if European trends are applied, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and it is therefore crucial that businesses tackle water efficiency.
Talking at Resource Ireland, James Hogan, from the EPA's Green Business initiative, said that the average cost of cold water was €2 per cu m in Ireland. However, in countries like Germany this cost was as high as €8, and he suggested prices could rise similarly in Ireland.
Hogan explained that it was essential for companies to monitor their water meters on a weekly basis because annual bills would not reveal leaks until vast sums of money had already been lost.
It is also crucial for companies to start harvesting rainwater in Ireland because there is such an abundant supply said Hogan, explaining that green water was far cheaper than blue water and could be used for purposes such as toilet flushing.
He used the example of the money saving potential power of water efficiency of Stilorgan hotel which detected it had 25 leaks. Fixing these reduced their water usage by half and saved them €64,826 a year.
The worst offenders in buildings for water wastage are facilities such as urinals. According to Hogan each urinal, which he described as "designed leaks" cost businesses €800 a year.
Other advice Hogan gave included the overnight test for leakage whereby businesses turn all water consumption off and read the metre over night. If there is a constant drainage it is likely there is a leak.
The Green Business Programme offers free advice and onsite visits to companies looking to increase their water efficiency.
Live from Resource Ireland in Dublin