Ensuring water security for a growing world
It is estimated that over 1 billion people experience some form of water scarcity on a daily basis, without access to clean drinking water. This, and lack of access to adequate sanitation facilities, disproportionately affects some of the poorest regions in the world. Simultaneously, climate change is increasing the frequency of severe droughts and floods, rapidly eroding the amount of fresh water available.
Interrelated issues of population growth and rising affluence also are adding to water challenges. A growing population requires water not only to drink, but also to meet its energy and food production needs.
Achieving a sustainable balance between supply and demand and making sure we have enough water – of the right quality – for the purpose for which it is needed is key to achieving water security for our growing world. However, with the judicious application of smart technologies, sound policy-making, workable regulations, collaboration between the public and private sector and an appreciation of the real cost of water, it is possible to achieve this goal.