Electrolux has researched the role of modern appliances in the increasing challenge of water scarcity and reveals that London could save as much as 16 billion litres of fresh water annually if everyone used a dishwasher instead of doing the dishes by hand. The amount of water is equivalent to 6,350 Olympic swimming pools.
The study is based on results from the University of Bonn, Germany. The study shows that on average 10.5 litres of water is consumed per person per day when washing a daily amount of dishes by hand, while the best Electrolux dishwasher uses 2.27 litres of water to wash the same amount. Moreover, time is saved. Since there is less water to heat up, less energy is also needed.
This means a household in the UK could save 7,200 litres annually by using an efficient dishwasher. The amount of water is equivalent to 110 Wembley stadiums or 30,400 cups of tea. If all households in the UK today that are doing the dishes by hand changed to a modern dishwasher, a total of 125 billion litres could be saved.
If all households in the 22 European countries studied were to use an efficient dishwasher instead of washing dishes by hand, 990.2 million m3 of water could be saved. This is more than, for instance, the total annual use of water from supplies in Denmark. On the website, data for other cities and countries are available.
Henrik Sundström, head of Sustainability affairs at the Electrolux Group said that given the undoubted economic, social and political consequences of water scarcity everybody has a responsibility to play a role in using this precious resource more carefully. “Everyone can play a role in solving the challenge of water scarcity: consumers, by adopting new technologies and making smart choices in their daily life; policymakers, by encouraging consumers to do so, for instance with legislation and incentive programmes that speed up the replacement of inefficient appliances; industry, by reducing water use and emissions, and equally importantly, to develop and offer products that are continuously more efficient and climate smart.”
Today, 1.1 billion people in the world do not have access to adequate clean water to meet their basic daily needs, and 2.6 billion do not have proper sanitation facilities, according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) within the UN. The UN warns that by the year 2025, between 2.6 and 3.1 billion people could be living in either water-scarce or water-stressed conditions. This already poses a serious threat to health and welfare, and also to agriculture and industry.