California and most of the southwestern United States has been struggling with dry weather for centuries. However, as reported by intelligence agencies worldwide, water scarcity is a global concern.
Across the international border between Argentina and Paraguay, an arid Pilcomayo River is now littered with dead caiman and fish carcasses. A decades-long drought in Northern China coupled with their coal-fired power plants have caused a severe water shortage. In India, wells have dried up in ten out of 29 states.
In developing countries, sanitation and water access is still out of reach for 2.5 billion and 768 million people respectively, killing thousands daily due to disease and dehydration.
Population and commercial growth are exacerbating our current water stress and are occurring faster than our ability to mitigate. Access to safe drinking water, sanitation, food and energy security as well as healthy terrestrial and marine ecosystems are all at risk. We are in a global water crisis.
Without improving our water management, can we protect the most crucial and fundamental resource for life?
Globally, governments can save declining water supplies by implementing policies to help can us adapt to these more arid times, including:
Nonprofits, such as the Thirst Project and Dig Deep, educate and activate local and socially-conscious communities to build real water projects that will end the global water crisis. It is critical to encourage the dissemination of information through various channels to raise awareness and efficacy to overcome public concerns.
Eliminate water reuse technology barriers
One of the biggest barriers for recycled water is the unclear and, at times, contradictory landscape in the municipal, state or regional water code. Additionally, plumbing codes need to be updated for the permitting and inspection requirements of recycled water, so more communities can use recycled water.
Regulations to groundwater management
Governments have to reinforce water recovery initiatives to protect one of our most important water resources and avoid their complete depletion.
Incentives can encourage designers and developers to incorporate the use of water-efficient technologies and recycled water. For example, in Southern California, SoCal Water$mart offers water rebates to make water saving more affordable to commercial customers.
The citizens of the world have embraced sustainability in many areas of modern life, it is time to encourage them to conserve water through education, governance and incentives. The changes we make today will significantly alter our future for the better.
We were inspired by Jon Freedman’s article: “GE Power: These 4 Policies Could Solve the World’s Water Crisis”.