Wet 10 Livery Companies

The Water Related Livery Companies

The Wet 10, are an informal group of both users and suppliers of water. We all depend on water in one way or another and all share a common concern for the long term health of the water environment. Our aim is to promote awareness, to contribute to debate and to be an influence for the good in this key area. The current event is being supported by the following Worshipful Companies of: Plumbers, Basketmakers, Gardeners, Farmers, the Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators, Scientific Instrument Makers, Launderers, Environmental Cleaners, Constructors, Water Conservators, Firefighters and Watermen & Lightermen. 

Key Water Issues

Nulla vita sine aqua; sine cloacis vita brevis*.

The Water Related Liveries draw attention to three particular issues.

First there is the decline in water resources in many parts of the world due to over-abstraction. Internationally we are seeing the virtual disappearance of major rivers such as Colorado and Jordan and of seas such as the Aral Sea. At the same time we are seeing mining of ancient ground water (which will not be replenished) in North Africa and Middle East and severe lowering of the water table in such areas as south west USA. The UK is not immune to this issue with increasing water stress in south east of England likely only to be aggravated by climate change.

Secondly, there is inadequate sanitation in many parts of the world. 1 billion people worldwide do not have access to clean drinking water and 2.6 billion, 40% of the world’s population, do not have access to proper sanitation. Every six seconds a child dies of water related illness.

Thirdly, water supply in developed economies is a major energy user and contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. The water industry on its own accounts for 2% of the UK’s energy use whilst more than twice that amount of energy is used on heating water by domestic users. Bottled water in particular can have significant adverse environmental effects because of the energy used in producing bottles and in transporting them – the average bottle in the UK is transported 900 miles. For these reasons the Wet 10 are committed to the use of tap water wherever possible at our events.

London has a particular perspective on the above issues. It led the world by cleaning up the River Thames in the 19th Century (after the so called ‘Big Stink’), and is widely admired internationally for so doing. Clean drinking water and proper sanitation sustains the City’s health whilst a clean ‘Father Thames’ is a key part of the City’s beautiful environment.

Water is precious and we must use it wisely.

*Without water there is no life; without sanitation life is short. (Worshipful Company of Water Conservators; Philip Fletcher CBE: Chairman of the Water Services Regulation Authority).

For further information on the Wet 10 see: www.wet10.co.uk