Not long ago, water was a “hot” topic in California. The drought was talked about everywhere. Restaurants were not serving water unless you asked, and California friendly-lawns were popping up left and right. However, as soon as the governor declared the drought over, the sentiment shifted, and the consensus was to disregard the fact that water conservation should be a California way of life.
Luckily, there are still cities actively trying to figure out the best way to get people to save water on increasingly sparse non-drought years by supporting the best technologies.
On Friday, December 1, 2017, the Pacific Council on International Policy hosted their Inaugural Water Conference, which brought together California’s water industry to talk about how to solve these challenges.
Three main takeaways
1. More Water Innovation
The first takeaway is that we need more water innovation. The conference kicked off with a ‘TED’ talk from the Stanford Law Professor Mr. Barton H. “Buzz” Thompson. Buzz discussed how energy patents have seen a significant spike in their filings while water patents have remained consistant. According to the UN, 1.8 billion people will live in regions of “absolute water scarcity” by 2025, so it is fitting to conclude that our modern world needs to ramp up investing in technological innovations that can secure our future water supplies
2. Water-Efficient Products
The second takeaway is that the law should require all products to be water-efficient. During the afternoon session Urban Water Resilience Across the Globe, California Assemblywoman Laura Friedman spoke on the challenges of asking households to continue conserving water even when they have already maximized their water savings, which will require common household products to be even more water efficient.
3. The ‘True’ Value of Water
The third takeaway is that we need to change the way we talk and think about water in our daily lives. Throughout the event, people were concern that the public does not consciously want to change their behavior towards water because it is thought of as a “cheap” resource. Author Tara Lohan used the term “Blue Gold“, which reflects on how we should approach water moving forward.
If you could imagine water as gold, what would you do? (Besides collecting it at any chance!) I bet you would think twice about having long showers, running the tap while brushing your teeth or flushing it away unnecessarily, right? The real question is, why is it so hard for us to value water for what it truly is?