Call Issued For Global Database Of Water Management Insights
In a bid to help governments and water utilities all over the world manage their water resources more effectively, the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management Sustainability Initiative have come up with a way of closing the data gap that exists with regards to worldwide municipal water management information.
Global information on how utilities and governments manage their water at local levels doesn’t exist, although it’s worth noting that there is a lot of data on water quantity and quality. As such, there’s currently no way of predicting how municipalities will be able to respond to droughts, regulate water prices or maintain infrastructure.
But now, thanks to the two organisations, crowdsourcing report information from multinational companies on local water regulations, routine assessments and the state of water infrastructure can assist with the creation of a global dataset that prioritises local water management.
Corporate water stewardship at WRI Paul Reig said: “How governments respond to water crises, maintain their water infrastructure and regulate users can be just as threatening to water security as a drought or flood.
“You can identify water scarce environments but not how the local government handles that challenge. With a global database of municipal water management insights, we can understand where utilities may be failing, and prioritise ways to address weaknesses in public water management.”
This new methodology has been designed to make local water management data accessible to members of the general public, including information on regulations (such as price, volume and limits on how much can be extracted), infrastructure (such as reliability and maintenance), crisis response (contingency plans to manage floods, droughts and water contamination), and information access (is local information on water publicly accessible?).
Senior lecturer and director of the MIT Sloan Sustainability Initiative Jason Jay made further comments, saying that although investors and companies are now trying to include water risk in decision-making, data quality is proving to be a “critical barrier” on a regular basis.
The hope is, he went on to say, that this data will empower these organisations to take action and ensure sustainable public water management.
Crises relating to water are some of the biggest challenges that the world as a whole now has to face – as recently evidenced by Cape Town and the fact that the city is expected to run out of water in April. Water stress is also now being seen in the likes of Singapore and Australia, so it’s something that will increasingly be in the news as time goes on.
As a business, you can start to do your part by prioritising UK rainwater harvesting systems and other such solutions. These can help reduce your water wastage, drive down overall usage and save you money on your bills so it’s certainly worth looking into, even if just from a business perspective. The fact that you could be helping to save the planet may well be an added bonus for you!