Water scarcity is looming large as population growth continues
Freshwater sources around the world are under pressure. Already today 40% of all people are affected by water scarcity. This water scarcity originates from various pressure points. On the one hand, extreme weather events shift the global water cycle; water does not appear where it used to, leading to both droughts and floods in two separate regions at the same time. On the other hand, agricultural activities driven by population growth extract more and more water. This water is not only used during production but also shipped around the globe as part of the final product.
But scarcity is not the only challenge connected with water. 2.4 billion people do not have access to basic sanitary installations. On top, less than 20 % of the global wastewater is treated. All the other water is released into the environment without sufficient treatment, thereby threatening human health and ecosystem integrity. It is paramount that water challenges are tackled with holistic perspectives across borders and nations.
Water treatment to reduce environmental pollution
We cannot intentionally change the water cycle directly, or how water is distributed globally. But we can improve our freshwater consumption, in particular, by making our industries and agriculture more efficient. We #SaveWater by decreasing the use and increasing the reuse of water while ensuring that less water needs to be treated.
However, whenever water is polluted by human activities, there needs to be a #WaterTreatment step involved. Wastewater plants, purifiers and filters, as well as remediation services, are essential to provide clean and safe water to everyone. #ConservationNow, or in other words, protecting and regenerating ecosystems, should bring a further positive effect. Lastly, sanitary installations ensure fewer people have to live in precarious hygiene situations is reduced.
Clean water requires effective use of technology
The radiTheme “Clean Water and Sanitation” revolves around ensuring the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all (SDG 6). In particular, treatment systems and filters allow clean drinking water. Wastewater from households and industries, on the other hand, is effectively cleaned through treatment plants before the water is released into the environment. Water use efficiency is guaranteed when industries implement the respective technologies. Lastly, open discussions about water use and water rights across borders allow for international, integrated water management.
- 6.Clean Water and Sanitation