Page 1: Introduction
We all have different needs. If you were asked what they were you might talk about the need to buy a motor bike, to have enough money to go out on Friday night or to buy some new clothes. Water affects all of our lives in many different ways but it is probably something which is not instantly associated with your needs because it is taken for granted. Think how many times a day you use a tap, not just for washing your hands but also for making a cup of tea or coffee, for cooking, washing clothes, cleaning, running heating systems, washing-up and, of course, for flushing the toilet. Imagine what it would be like if water was not readily available. Perhaps the best way is to think of a seed and the ingredient necessary for it to germinate and grow - water. Like that seed we depend upon water but not only in its capacity as a necessity to support our existence but also for developing our standard of living. For example, in a modern home water must come into the house. We may have access to it both upstairs and downstairs. Water may be used in the heating system, the shower in the bathroom and for the washing machine. The demand for water has risen steadily over the last ten years, with the greater use of domestic appliances such as dishwashers and the installation of garden watering systems all adding to this demand.
We must not forget that water is not just for our everyday needs in domestic consumption. Industry needs water, sometimes in very large quantities. Many of these industries may supply us with products; consumables such as food, manufactured durables such as television sets and not forgetting energy produced from water to power electrical products in our homes. Service industries also need to use water in the workplace, though perhaps not in such large quantities.
So, what does all this add up to? Water is a very important product for us all. Within the home it helps us to maintain and develop our very standard of living. If a direct comparison is made with a household of 100 years ago and a modern household, one of the first things we would notice is how differently we use water today. It is not just the way water is used which represents the change in our needs. Modern customer expectations require high standards of performance for any product they buy and from any service they receive. By providing a vital service for industries, water helps to create the products and services required for our everyday needs whilst at the same time helping these organisations to develop, expand and grow, provide jobs, create wealth and provide us with a living environment in which we live more comfortably than in the past and in which there is greater choice of goods to buy and activities to enjoy.