Water Droplets

An international standard on water reduction has been launched in an effort to encourage businesses to use water more sustainably.

The UK’s Carbon Trust, which developed the scheme, said many business leaders did not see the issue as a priority.

The Water Standard will require firms to measure water use and demonstrate efforts taken to reduce consumption.

It is estimated that more than 60% of Europe’s largest cities consume water faster than it can be replenished.

UN data shows that 70% of global freshwater use is for irrigation, 22% is used by industry and 8% is used in homes.

Water use is forecast to increase in developing nations by 50% by 2025 and by 18% in developed nations.

“We know that most businesses that are very big users of water don’t really have a handle on [water stewardship],” explained Carbon Trust chief executive Tom Delay.

“Very few measure it, even fewer have targets to reduce consumption. So even if there is not a significant cost penalty for water use, there is a very significant business risk.”

In order to be awarded the Carbon Trust Water standard, Mr Delay said the process was “relatively straightforward”.

“They need to be able to show us that on a year-on-year basis they are reducing their water use,” he told BBC News.

“We look at the various water supply methods: mains, surface water abstraction, groundwater and rainwater collection.

“All of the water than comes into the company we will count as an input. We will also look at trade effluent because it is the dirty water and normally needs to be licensed and manage very carefully.

“We are looking for companies that are awarded the Standard to show a year-on-year reduction on both water input and effluent.”

The Trust decided to branch out from its usual territory of measuring energy use and carbon footprints because there was not a global standard on water reduction, he added.

“We firmly believe that if you measure something and if you manage it, then you will reduce it and improve its performance.

But, he said: “We are not covering every single angle of water stewardship in this standard [but] we are saying that if you can reduce that then that is moving in the right direction.”

Mr Delay explained that the issue of water scarcity was closely linked to climate change because “one of the big impacts will be the threat to freshwater supplies”.

‘Early adopters’

Among the four “early adopters” of the standard was Coca-Cola, whose operations in India had been criticised by campaigners who said the firm was abstracting too much water, which was having a detrimental impact on surrounding farmland.

Mr Delay said that the Trust’s standard had been awarded to Coca-Cola Enterprises, which was responsible for the northern European operations of the global brand.

But he added: “The more people get into managing their water use, the more they will be exposed these sorts of questions and, hopefully, come up with some solutions.”

On the website for the Coca-Cola Great Britain, which is a separate company to the Enterprises operation, it said: “We believe we can be part of the solution to India’s water issues and we’ve made water stewardship the primary focus of our sustainability efforts throughout the country.

“We’ve improved our water use efficiency by 14% since 2004 and we’re continuing to invest in new innovations and plant processes to help us make even more improvements moving forward.”

Commenting on the launch of the Water Standard, Coca-Cola Enterprises chairman and chief executive John Brock described water as “fundamental to our business and our communities”.

“By measuring and managing our water impact… we can address longer-term water scarcity issues,” he said.

“This certification recognises the progress we have made towards becoming a water-sustainable operation.”

How does drinking the recommended two litres of water every day improve men’s health?

Doctors are forever extolling the virtues of drinking water – six to eight glasses are recommended a day by the Food Standards Agency. A fairly inaccurate measure, granted, but one can safely assume it means around two litres of water a day.

This might seem like a lot but in reality it’s about half a glass for every hour you are awake (around 150ml), which isn’t going to prove too much of a challenge – particularly when you know what it’s doing for you.

Your body is over two-thirds water and it needs constant replenishment – breathing alone causes a loss of up to two to three glasses of water each day.

Weight loss

A lot of the time when you think you’re hungry you’re actually thirsty. Your body kicks out the same symptoms; common sense will often dictate whether you are actually hungry or not but just try it next time you start to feel peckish.

Drinking water regularly can help you reduce your food intake.

You’ll find the hunger goes away very quickly if it is just a thirst.

This is great for those who struggle with weight loss, weight gain or snacking – a glass of water will often dispel hunger pangs and over time you’ll probably reduce your food intake.

Supple skin

Water helps keep your skin looking youthful and supple, two qualities particularly affected by sun exposure and pollution in cities and built-up areas.

Water purifies your body, removing water-soluble toxins and waste that can’t be passed easily through your bowel – which also requires water to keep you regular.

A lack of H2O means your body struggles to remove toxins and if they aren’t passed out in your urine they try and sneak out in other ways – through your skin, for example, which can cause acne and eczema.

Water also transports oxygen, hormones and nutrients to areas of your body, keeping them healthy.

Sweat less

Sweaty pits showing through your shirt might not be the best look in summertime but they are a necessary evil.

Staying hydrated will help avoid the embarrassment of sweating profusely.

Water helps lower your body’s temperature to the right level through sweating.

It also helps with keeping your blood at the right thickness, lowering your risk of suffering a cardiovascular disorder.

Avoid kidney stones

A kidney stone is a right royal pain in the, er, kidney.

Drinking the suggested two litres of water is one of the ways you can stave off kidney stones.

Water is a valuable solvent and thus prevents the build-up of minerals and salts which cause the disorder; instead, the salts are diluted and passed out of the body through your urine.

A stronger immune system

Water maintains your pH balance; the correct range is about 7.35-7.45.

Water boosts your immune system by maintaining your body’s PH balance.

If your PH begins to move towards being more acidic, your body can lose its ability to take in vitamins and minerals as well as leaving you vulnerable to sickness.

A pH above seven improves your body’s ability to take in oxygen. It will also boost your energy levels as well as your immune system.

No back pain

Backaches affect most of us desk-jockeys, not least because of our posture.

Because your spinal discs contain a large amount of water, dehydration can lead to back pain.

These aches and pains can be lowered through drinking the right quantity of water.

The core of your spinal discs is made of a large quantity of water and dehydration can lead to increased back pain

Water in soft drinks

Contrary to what we’re often told, drinking soft drinks, teas and juices do count towards your water intake.

Obviously your body does require some water to process these and do beware of sugar contents, particularly in cans of pop, but if you’re an avid tea drinker then go ahead and stick the kettle on.

Do remember though, that you can drink too much water – so stick with what the doctor ordered. Pour us a cuppa made with Filtered Water from one of our hot mains fed water coolers or if you prefer fill you kettle from one of our freshly Filtered water coolers, while you’re at it.

A water cooler or water dispenser is a device that cools and dispenses water. They are generally broken up in two categories mains fed and bottled water coolers. Mains fed water coolers are hooked up to a water supply, while bottled water coolers require delivery of water in large bottles.

Here at Blue Mountain Water we stock both types of coolers, mains fed can be found here and bottled coolers here all are available to buy or rent and with a price match promise +10% you won’t find a better deal.

In the standard wall-mounted cooler, also commonly referred to as a water fountain or drinking fountain, a small tank in the machine holds chilled water so the user does not have to wait for chilled water. Water is delivered by turning or pressing a button on a spring-loaded valve located on the top of the unit that turns off the water when released. Some devices also offer a large button on the front or side. Water is delivered in a stream that arches up allowing the user to drink directly from the top of the stream of water. These devices usually dispense water directly from the municipal water supply, without treatment or filtering.

A newer, free-standing design involves bottles of water, usually treated in some way, placed spout-down into the dispensing machine. To install the bottle, the bottle is tipped upside down and set onto the dispenser, a probe punctures the cap of the bottle and allows the water to flow into the machine’s internal reservoir. These machines come in different sizes and vary from table units, intended for occasional use to floor-mounted units intended for heavier use. Bottled Water is delivered to the household or business on a regular basis, where empty bottles are exchanged for full ones. Commonly a cup dispenser can be mounted to the side of the unit to keep disposable paper or plastic cups handy for use. Some units offer a refrigeration function to chill the water. These units do not have a place to dump excess water, only offering a small basin to catch minor spills. On the front, a lever or push button dispenses the water into a cup held beneath the spigot. When the water container is empty, it is lifted off the top of the dispenser, and automatically seals to prevent any excess water still in the bottle from leaking.

These gravity-powered systems have a device to dispense water in a controlled manner. Some versions also have a second dispenser that delivers room temperature water or even heated water that can be used for tea, hot chocolate, or instant coffee. The water in the alternate hot tap is generally heated with a heating element and a hot tank (much like the traditional hot water heaters used in residential homes). Additionally, the hot tap is usually equipped with a push-in safety valve to prevent burns from an accidental or inadvertent pressing of the lever.

Water drop with Green background

Introduction

Children establish drinking patterns early in childhood, so it is vital to teach them about the importance of good hydration at an early age. Good hydration benefits children’s health now and in the future. Children can easily become dehydrated during hot weather and as a result of physical activity because they have:

· a higher surface area to body mass ratio compared to adults, so are more likely to lose water by evaporation

· less developed sweating ability and kidneys function1

· less sensitive thirst response

Water is one of the most important basic nutrients required by the body, together with carbohydrate, fat, protein, vitamins and minerals. Unfortunately, many children do not drink adequately for their age or activity level. Some drink significantly less during the school day than at the weekend.

In order to keep properly hydrated throughout the day, children need access to water at school. The promotion of good hydration is included within the government’s Food in Schools programme, which supports the National Healthy Schools Standard. It advises that good quality drinking water should be available to pupils throughout the day and not from taps or drinking fountains located in toilets areas

Weight

Obesity in children increased significantly between 1995 and 2002 and continues to rise. In 2002, 22 per cent of boys and 28 per cent of girls were either overweight or obese. The high sugar content of soft drinks has been identified as one of the factors involved in childhood obesity. Replacing soft drinks in the diet with water (which has no calories) can help with weight control. Fifteen per cent of preschool children consume just under half their recommended daily energy intake in the form of sugary drinks. These drinks are nutritionally poor and can reduce children’s appetite so that they miss eating valuable nutrients at mealtimes. In addition, sugary drinks may not quench thirst as much as water, which encourages children to drink more of them. One theory linking mild dehydration to obesity suggests that low fluid intake may stimulate a preference for a high fat diet. Of all the nutrients, fat generates the most metabolic water when it is broken down by the body. By providing maximum metabolic water, a high fat diet could be part of a compensatory mechanism to deal with perpetually low water intakes. Obesity in childhood is a risk factor for other serious diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and increases the chance of being overweight or obese as an adult.

Good hydration helps children to:

Maintain a healthy… Weight

Improve… Attention and concentration

Resolve… Toileting problems such as wetting and constipation

Increase… Exercise capacity and fitness levels

Reduce the… Risk of chronic disease

Attention and concentration

Poor hydration adversely affects a child’s mental performance and learning ability.

Symptoms of mild dehydration include light-headedness, dizziness, headaches and tiredness, as well as reduced alertness and ability to concentrate. Once thirst is felt, mental performance including memory, attention and concentration can decrease by about 10 per cent. Mental performance deteriorates progressively as the degree of dehydration increases. Thirst is usually felt when dehydration reaches 0.8-2 per cent loss of body weight due to water loss. For a 10-year-old child weighing 30kg this is the equivalent to one or two large glasses of water (300ml each).

Water consumption also has an immediate “alerting” and “revitalising” effect. In schools taking part in the Food in Schools water provision pilot project, teachers reported on:

Toileting problems

Dehydration can contribute to health problems such as urine infections, bed-wetting, daytime wetting and constipation. Urine infections and wetting Good hydration is important in the prevention of urinary tract infection (UTI). One per cent of boys and three per cent of girls experience a UTI during the first ten years of life. UTI can be serious in children if it is associated with reflux of urine back up the ureter causing kidney damage. UTIs can also be a cause of bed- or pant-wetting and poor school attendance in older children. Bed-wetting can also worsen if insufficient fluids are drunk during the day. This reduces bladder capacity so that the child may not then be able to cope with the compensatory increase in fluids drunk during the evening. Constipation Chronic constipation is a very common complaint affecting 3-8 per cent of children. It is three times more common in prepubertal boys than girls, but this ratio reverses in adolescence. Inadequate fluid intake is one of the most frequent causes of chronic constipation. Additional water intake can increase stool frequency when a child’s voluntary fluid consumption is lower-than-normal for their age and activity level. Preventing constipation is important because this condition is a risk factor for colorectal cancer.

Exercise capacity and fitness

Children need to be active in order to stay healthy. The increase in childhood obesity has been linked to declining activity levels. Poor hydration can cause feelings of tiredness and reduced alertness, leading to reluctance to exercise. When exercise is taken, even mild dehydration can impair physical performance. In adults, there is a reduction in physical work capacity at 2 per cent dehydration of between 8-25 per cent. When exercising in hot conditions at 1-2 per cent dehydration, children experience a greater increase in core body temperature than adults. This suggests that the same level of dehydration may have greater adverse effects on children’s physical performance. Children should be well hydrated before prolonged physical exercise in a hot environment.

Every 20 minutes during the activity:

· A 40kg child should be encouraged to drink 150ml of water, and

· A 60kg adolescent should be encouraged to drink 250ml of water even if they do not feel thirsty.

Children exercising in warm weather are at particular risk of dehydration because, compared with adults, they are less efficient at thermoregulation, produce more metabolic heat relative to their weight, are less sensitive to thirst, and may not understand the need for increased fluid consumption. Swimmers need to maintain good hydration levels since water immersion reduces the thirst response. This coupled with exercise makes them susceptible to dehydration.

Risk of chronic disease

Drinking enough water can help to protect the body against certain chronic diseases. Individuals who maintain good hydration levels have been shown to have a reduced risk of developing the following diseases:

· Breast, colorectal, urinary tract cancer.

· cardiovascular disease

· gallstones

· kidney and bladder stones

Other health benefits of water for children

Oral health

Having a dry mouth is one of the early signs of dehydration. Mild dehydration may be a risk factor for dental disease because it impairs saliva production. Saliva is essential for good oral health:

· it neutralizes the acid created by the bacteria which cause tooth decay

· lubricates oral membranes

· Contains minerals that enable tooth repair, and contains antibacterial agents that inhibit the growth of oral bacteria and help prevent gum disease.

Skin

Being well hydrated keeps skin looking healthy. The skin acts as a water reservoir and participates in fluid regulation for the whole body. Mild dehydration causes skin to appear flushed, dry and loose.

Water requirements

Children’s water requirements vary with age. As milk intake decreases, water obtained from drinks becomes increasingly important. There are no agreed recommended daily intake levels for water in the UK, but recommendations from the US National Academies Food and Nutrition Board suggest that:

· 1-3 year olds should drink 0.9 litres per day

· 4-8 year olds should drink 1.2 litres per day and

· 9-13 year old girls should drink 1.6 litres per day, and boys should drink 1.8 litres per day

· 14-18 year old girls should drink 1.8 litres per day, and boys should drink 2.6 litres per day

Water intake should be higher in warm weather or when the child is exercising.

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