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For Equine Vets Everywhere

Reducing Water Consumption

Sustainability Tips for Practices
04 Feb 2022 Anonymous

Using water resources in a responsible way is part of our commitment to build a sustainable future for our society and the environment. Fresh water is a limited resource, vital for environmental balance, the most basic needs of society and economic development.

Its supply is under increasing pressure due to factors such as climate change and the rising population (European Environment Agency 2020).

Fresh water perfectly exemplifies the complex interactions between the environment, society and businesses, and how such dimensions have to be balanced to obtain sustainability. The concept was expressed as the Triple bottom line by John Elkington (Thomopoulos and Embery 2013).


Water consumption by the employees of a practice can be similar to that of a domestic setting, approaching 140 litres per day (Energy Saving Trust 2021).

If we consider the veterinary activities, equine hospitals will have to account for the daily water consumption of each patient -25 to 30 litres on average- plus the amount needed to repeatedly clean consult rooms or theatre. These figures can quickly add up, knowing that a hosepipe can fill 30 buckets of water in 15 minutes (Anglianwater 2019).

There is a real wealth of useful information and measuring tools available on the web, such those provided by Waterwise (2021), which can help individuals and businesses to use water more wisely.

Other reductions can be obtained by making sure that all the plumbing hardware works properly. It’s very surprising to know that fixing a dripping tap could save up to 5000 litres of water a year (Ofwat 2021), or, that a seemingly harmless leaking toilet could be responsible for wasting 600 litres of water a day (Anglianwater 2019).


There are many ways we can save precious water resources, and each responsible act will have a triple benefit towards the environment, the community and our own business.





Controlling your bill [WWW Document], n.d. . Ofwat. URL https://www.ofwat.gov.uk/nonhouseholds/yourwaterbill/ofwat-non-household-consumers-your-water-bill-controlling-your-bill-controlling-your-bill/ (accessed 8.28.21).

Greener Veterinary Practice Checklist [WWW Document], n.d. . Vet Sustain. URL https://vetsustain.org/resources/vet-practice-checklist (accessed 9.14.21).

Save Water – Waterwise, n.d. URL https://www.waterwise.org.uk/save-water/ (accessed 8.28.21).

Simple ways to save water at home, 2021. . Energy Saving Trust. URL https://energysavingtrust.org.uk/simple-ways-to-save-water-at-home/ (accessed 8.28.21).

Thomopoulos, N., Embery, J., (2013). “Two birds with one stone: enhancing education for sustainable development and employability” in Richard Atfield, R., Kemp, P. (ed.)

        Enhancing education for sustainable development in Business and Management, Hospitality, Leisure, Marketing, Tourism. pp.1-10

Water saving tips game [WWW Document], n.d. . Anglian Water Services. URL https://www.anglianwater.co.uk/help-and-advice/save-water/water-saving-tips/water-saving-quiz/ (accessed 8.28.21).

Water use and environmental pressures — European Environment Agency [WWW Document], n.d. URL https://www.eea.europa.eu/themes/water/european-waters/water-use-and-environmental-pressures/water-use-and-environmental-pressures#toc-0 (accessed 9.14.21).