Water crisis goes way beyond pollution, experts say

The sustainable use of ocean resources is key for economic growth, improved livelihoods, and jobs


Rohma Sadaqat

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Naji Skaf, managing director for the Middle East and Turkey at Xylem - Supplied
Naji Skaf, managing director for the Middle East and Turkey at Xylem - Supplied

Published: Wed 8 Jun 2022, 5:59 PM

A major aspect of the climate crisis is related to water, but what many fail to understand is that the water crisis goes way beyond pollution, says Naji Skaf, managing director for the Middle East and Turkey at Xylem.

Speaking to Khaleej Times on World Oceans Day – which takes place annually on June 8 and seeks to promote knowledge about the delicate systems that govern the world's oceanic system and how they're at increasing risk from climate change – Skaf noted that the advent of industrialisation over the past century has had wide-reaching impacts on oceans and waterways. This has led to destabilised ocean beds, harm caused to marine life, contamination and dumping. These actions have also resulted in severe droughts in some parts, flooding, and high levels of pollution, making water unconsumable for many communities and wildlife.

“The climate crisis is upon us and now more than ever, individuals, corporates and governments must act together to fight this crisis and preserve our planet for future generations,” he said. “At Xylem, we aim to solve all problems pertaining to water by leveraging technology.”

Xylem achieves this through a suite of cutting-edge solutions for environmental research in oceanographic, hydrographic and climate research markets, with which they have been able to deliver the most technologically advanced self-contained and integrated remote underwater observation systems, environmental monitoring buoys, telemetry, and water quality and velocity sensors in the world.

“In the past year alone, we have successfully prevented 500 billion gallons of water from flooding communities and were able to recycle 285 billion gallons of water,” he revealed. “While it is great to reminisce about the impact we have made on World Oceans Day, I believe we still have a lot to accomplish. Undoubtedly, our goals for the future can only be achieved through technology. Without it, maintaining water quality and safeguarding marine biodiversity will be impossible.”

About 71 per cent of the Earth’s surface is water-covered, and the oceans hold about 96.5 per cent of all Earth’s water. Xylem helps monitor water quality & met-parameters. Moreover, the group provides solutions for environmental research used in oceanographic, hydrographic, and climate research markets.

One such project revolved around the installation of a water quality monitoring buoy at a sensitive area within the Dubai Creek. The Dubai Municipality installed the YSI water quality monitoring buoy to gather real-time data for pH, temperature, salinity, and dissolved oxygen, which will quickly reveal any incidents of point source pollution; while algae measurements will reveal any trends that may take place as a result of diffuse or longer-term pollution.


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