The pivotal role of water in climate change
Frank Ackland, Managing Director, Middle East & Turkey at Xylem
Frank Ackland, Managing Director, Middle East & Turkey at Xylem, explains the need of smart water networks to improve water management
Published: Sun 22 Mar 2020, 12:41 PM
Last updated: Sun 22 Mar 2020, 2:46 PM
In the wake of unprecedented environmental crises and water-related disasters around the globe, World Water Day comes at an appropriate time to remind us just how important it is to be smart about water and its consumption for the benefit of mankind.
According to the United Nations, more than two billion people live in countries experiencing high water stress. The situation will likely worsen as populations and the demand for water grows, and as the effects of climate change intensify. In many regions, droughts are already causing severe water scarcity. This is having an unthinkable impact on the most vulnerable communities around the globe, and this is only a fraction of the picture.
Water plays a pivotal role in defining how the world will adapt to the effects of climate change. Ensuring that each and every person on the planet has access to sustainable water is therefore not only a basic human right, but a critical climate change mitigation strategy for the years ahead.
I believe the world's water predicament is twofold. Increasing the supply to address the growing demand is often coupled with unsustainable solutions that are depleting natural resources and damaging our planet.
Water scarcity, changing demographics, extreme weather patterns, and aging or overly stressed infrastructure are also colliding to threaten critical water networks. This is why we have to think smarter about water, now more than ever before.
At Xylem, water conservation for the sake of preservation and mitigating climate change is at the heart of our mission. Our commitment to solving water problems across the globe is also underpinned by our Sustainability 2025 Goals, which include optimising global water management by saving more than 16.5 billion cubic meters of water through technologies that avert water loss and enable water reuse.
The good news is that the technology exists today to help us achieve these goals, as well as many of the most critical water challenges we face. Not only are we seeing the reinvention of water management, but also the creation of water, energy and cost efficiencies which were simply unattainable just a decade ago.
Smart water networks will not only serve to improve daily water management but also have a long-term role in managing water needs in the face of natural disasters and environmental change. With constant digital innovation, utilities can assure increased water security for the industrial, commercial, agricultural and domestic sectors, which can have a direct impact on economic security and growth, while simultaneously helping the environment.
Improved water management means less polluted rivers, lakes and streams, and more reliably efficient networks overall. Water is our most precious resource - we must work together to use it more responsibly. We cannot afford to wait and every one of us has a role to play.
Water scarcity, changing demographics, extreme weather patterns, and aging or overly stressed infrastructure are colliding to threaten critical water networks.