Emerging Trends: Business as usual or Willing to change?
With less energy to support water supply systems, and as global warming increases the earth’s temperatures, serious water problems currently affecting majority countries far away are likely to be experienced closer to home:
- Flooding along river banks and low lying areas (loss of agricultural land, increased malaria)
- Contaminated water supplies from agricultural and sewage wastes etc.
- Reduced access to water due to a larger population
- Less water due to evaporation
- Less energy for water treatment processes and supplies
If we are willing to address these problems we can do so in small but significant ways:
- Don’t leave the tap running
- Can take many measures in the home and at work to reduce water demand
- Can avoid putting toxic fluids down the sink and drain
- Can recycle grey water
- Can set up a water butt to collect rainwater for gardening
- Can find out more about the causes of international water problems1 and let this inform our choices when making purchases from other countries
Policy Makers & Service Providers
- Could protect water sources with legislation restricting the availability and use of toxic materials
- Could plan for more stringent times; possibly with water rationing and reopening of old local aquifers
- Should support international efforts to ensure safe drinking water for all nations
- Architects and developers can adopt reduced water demand building materials and designs
- WaterAid website at www.wateraid.org.uk. The World Water Council also provides information on the management of the world’s water resources. The UN has designated the decade from 2005 to 2015 as ‘The International Decade for Action: Water for Life 2005-2015’. The primary goal of the ‘Water for Life’ Decade is to “promote efforts to fulfil international commitments made on water and water-related issues by 2015” and to promote the Millennium Development Goal target “to reduce by half the proportion of people without access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation by 2015” [↩]
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