Still water runs deep: Water efficiency in Denmark

Water is one of the most precious resources we have, but way too often we forget to treasure it accordingly. Subconsciously we all know that we must treat water as a scarce commodity but how consciously are we really acting on that?

No one can live without water, and this should be reason enough to make us rethink and change our attitude and consumption habits – especially in the salon industry!

Before we dive into the peculiarities of Denmark’s water, take a look at some interesting facts about the ressource…

Our daily activities, agriculture, and industry require large amounts of water as well as supply systems that enable water to reach our households, fields and factories.

In all these stances, wastewater is produced and, if not properly treated through efficient sanitation systems and treatment plants, it can pose a threat to our environment. Non-treated wastewater becomes a polluting agent and, because it’s not reused, puts even more pressure on our freshwater supplies.

Denmark, NATULIQUE’s home country, is famous worldwide for its water quality as well as for its efficient water management systems, and record-low consumption of this resource. Surrounded by the sea from almost every side, Danes have always had a close relationship with water.

Over the past 30 years, the Danish government established multiple measures to tackle the long-predicted scarcity of water, and became a role model to look up to. Since the 70s/80s Denmark has reduced its water consumption reduced by 42% in several cities.

With the Danish Water Action Plan, Denmark was also the European pioneer in introducing national criteria concerning nutrient removal in wastewater treatment plants in 1987.

Nowadays, the Danish water sector only uses 1.8% of the nation’s total energy consumption. The city of Aarhus, where NATULIQUE ́s headquarters are located aims to make its water cycle energy neutral by 2020, and other cities in Denmark have similar goals. Those are definitely ambitious goals, but only by doing so, it’s possible to address the water challenges we’ll face in the near future.

A consumer survey conducted by the Danish Water and Wastewater Association (DANVA) in 2006 proved that satisfaction with water suppliers, water quality and security of supply in Denmark is very high. The cost of clean water represents only 13% of an average Danish family’s annual living expenses.

Water is everyone’s responsibility!

An incremental part of the success of the Danish water management system comes from the individual effort of the population. The 5.5 million inhabitants in Denmark consume on average 104 liters of water per day, and consumption has decreased 15% over the last 10 years.

Water savings result from a combination of water saving campaigns with simple measures, such as new installations of showers and toilets.

Seeing it through this perspective, it becomes easier to recognize that each one of us, as individuals, citizens, hairdressers or salon owners have a role in protecting this precious resource. Everyone knows that in the hairdressing craft, water expenditure can rapidly escalate.

Thinking about this, we came up with some tips that you can use to save water in your hair salon.

Have a look and take some notes!

  • Turn off the water when not in use (e.g.between shampoo and hair conditioner, or while doing hair treatments) and remind your co-workers to do it as well.
  • Regularly check for and repair leaks in your hair salon.
  • Replace older toilets with high-efficiency models.
  • Install waterless urinals.
  • Change your showerheads to water-conserving models. These later showerheads are designed to increase the water pressure, ending up not needing that large amounts of water.
  • Install a tankless hot water unit. This saves water since you don’t let it run until it heats up. Simultaneously, it saves energy because you don’t have to continually heat the water in your tank.
  • Purchase water-efficient washing machines (A+++), and only run them when fully loaded with towels.
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