Tackle Water Stress With Circular Economy, World Advised
We’re living in days of increasing water stress and scarcity, as this past summer has shown… and with drought constantly in the news around the world over the last few months, the worry is now that perhaps this is a sign of what we can expect each and every summer to come.
So what can be done now to help mitigate the risks of water shortages during periods of drought and what behaviours can we change in terms of how we deal with water?
Professor Christos Makropoulos, an expert in methods for urban water management and hydroinformatic tools, suggests that we adopt a circular model for our economy, one where waste and energy is fed back into the system in a variety of ways.
This could be recycling waste so as to provide energy or manufacture new products, for example, so that the system in place uses fewer resources as a whole and produces less waste… it’s a win-win, essentially.
“The challenge here is to make sure that the approaches and the technologies that we come up with is not only good for the environment but that it makes sense from an economical perspective. If that can be achieved, it’s a game-changer,” Mr Makropoulous was quoted by Phys.org as saying.
UN figures suggest that come the year 2030, total global water demand is predicted to exceed supply by 40 per cent and not only that but around half the world’s population will suffer from water stress.
Mr Makropoulous went on to remind people about Cape Town, which nearly ran out of water back in April this year, and India (which is experiencing extreme water shortages at the moment because of poor water management). He said that these are both examples of the fact that despite the “forecasts, tools and designs” we have, our water systems are still sure to be stressed by certain circumstances that “go beyond what they were designed to do”.
However, there are still some naysayers out there who believe there isn’t a water crisis as such and that it’s more politics that lie at the heart of the current problem, rather than a lack of rainfall.
Discussing the matter of Cape Town in December last year, The Conversation suggested that it was wasteful expenditure by the country’s Department of Water and Sanitation, a failure to respond to calls for help on a provincial and municipal level, and flawed water allocations for the agriculture industry that got in the way of more timely interventions to help stop the nation from reaching the Day Zero point.
It was further noted that if national government systems had been operating smoothly, the water crisis in Cape Town could have been mitigated. Apparently, “Cape Town teaches us that water crises are rarely a matter of rainfall”.
Whether you’ve been swayed by this argument or not, at the very least, as climate change takes an even greater hold on the planet, there will be even more sand available for certain groups to hide their heads in.
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