While we all need to drink water regularly in order to survive, water is a finite Resource that is having to serve exponentially more people and usages every passing year, and it is getting more difficult to ensure that everyone has access to a reliable supply.
Water is crucial to human survival and sustainable progress, but as our water resources are being stretched more and more by an ever increasing global population, migration to cities and an increased demand from both the Energy and Food sectors, it is becoming more and more doubtful that the Sustainable Development Goals will be achieved.
What this means is that there needs to be an increased focus on water resource management, ecosystem protection and water supply and sanitation.
Fossil fuel production is still a huge, dominant part of the global energy mix, but it is highly water intensive, as is biofuel production. The growing practice of shale gas extraction, or fracking, as it is more commonly known could be even worse. This means that we really need to look to the development of less water-intensive methods of supplying renewable energy, such as hydropower and wind. Geothermal energy, for instance, has great potential as a long-term, climate independent resource that produces little or no greenhouse gases and does not consume water.
Agriculture is and will probably continue to be the biggest user of water for a long time to come, but with the volume of demand for food growing with population expansion, efficiency measures that will motivate farmers to invest in precision irrigation systems for instance, that can save water, must be encouraged along the entire agrifood chain.
As unlikely as it may seem currently, as food and nutritional insecurity remains widespread, there is actually sufficient water globally to produce food for everyone. There needs to be robust strategies to protect water availability to maintain agricultural production and avoid food price volatility in water scarce regions, including advances in genetics and technologies that allow the sustainable intensification of crops, livestock and fish production.
Remember, water is life, so save, reuse and recycle wherever you can.
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