On World Water Day, March 22nd, the UN published a new report: The United Nations World Water Development Report 2020. The report describes a dreary picture of the climate and our future, and as quoted in the report, our world is in genuine danger.
Around one million animal and plant species are facing towards extinction. Freshwater species have suffered the greatest degeneration since 1970, falling by as much as 84%. Humans are too infected, specifically regarding water supply; around four million people experience intense physical water scarcity for at least one month per year. A situation only enhanced by the ongoing climate crisis. As the planet heat ups, water has become one of the main ways in which we experience the changing climate. Yet, water is rarely brought up in the climate debate or in the international climate treaties, even though it plays an important role in issues such as food security, production of energy, poverty reduction and economic development.
This falls into line with our strong opinion that water deserves a lot more attention on the global climate agenda; including the debates on energy production and health in general. Water is the source to all life and development on the planet, and rational management can have immense impact on how we address the 17 UN goals on sustainable development.
The model shows how water is inextricably connected to human survival, health and quality of life, but also that there is a stricture between water and energy. Water demands energy and vice versa – at least the conventionally produced kind. This means that if we can move towards more production of renewable energy, we will have more water attainable for other objectives. By using the resources from wastewater treatment systems, we can save energy and at the same time decreases our carbon emissions. The best energy is the energy never used. And by reducing the global non-revenue water levels through network optimisation, we can gain much more from the attainable water on our planet.
In short, water does not need to be an issue. In fact, it can be part of the solution. It can contribute by ensuring enough food for our rising populations, protect wetlands and increase the life quality for cities and communities.
We need to spread the word about existing technologies
The report states that, even though we need to focus on research and development, it is just as necessary to implement the already known and well-proven technologies. There are enormous to choose from, and with enough awareness and education, this is the way we can - and should - change our path.
80% of all human-induced wastewater is casted directly into nature without any former treatment. This should be collected, treated, and the remaining sludge should be utilised for energy production. If the treated water can then be discharged into a nearby area, expenses can be cut on the energy bill. Discharging into a nearby area can create a constructed wetland contributing with biodiversity and recreative areas. Through regulate seeping to the groundwater, cities are not in danger of sinking due to overexploited groundwater reserves, which is an issue many larger cities are dealing with today.
Introducing known technology will only happen through more awareness, exact education and through commencement such as capacity programs. Our Summer school, which runs under the name “Advanced Water Cycle Management Course”, is our contribution in this area. With the advanced knowledge at hand, and with a holistic approach to water’s entire journey throughout society, we focus on achieving the most efficient supply and treatment processes. This means to look at water as something we borrow and return in the best possible ways to maintain the balance in our ecosystem.
Learn more about our water management course here.
United Nations World Water Development Report 2020
Read the full report at UN's website. The report aims at informing about the opportunities that improved water management offers in terms of adaptation and mitigation.Go to UN website