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World Population Day: Act now to preserve water in the face of unprecedented global demand

  • World Population Day: Act now to preserve water in the face of unprecedented global demand

About the blog

Francois Frigaux
Regional Director at Sensus, a Xylem brand
Schneider Electric
Idrica

Themes

As we celebrated World Population Day last month, we recognized that the demographic trends that shape our world, including population growth, migration and urbanization, all impact the future of our planet. The strain on the demand for our natural resources due to a rapidly growing population poses significant implications on how we can better prepare for a healthy future, in which all people have access to the basics needs of life.

Access to water and sanitation is recognized by the United Nations as one of the most fundamental and basic human rights. Consequently, lack of access to safe, sufficient and affordable water, sanitation and hygiene has a devastating effect to communities everywhere. At Sensus, a Xylem brand, we place water at the heart of everything we do, and we cannot stress enough how important water is in safeguarding the health, dignity and prosperity of billions of people.

With countries in the Middle East region already facing multiple challenges due to the scarcity of natural water resources as well as a growing gap between demand and available supply, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic poses an even more threat to water security in the future.

Uninterrupted access to clean water has become even more important now, and it will be one of the critical drivers of a safer world in the ‘new normal’

As people are urged to wash their hands for a minimum of 20-30 seconds, as part of safety protocols, the importance of reliable and affordable water supply cannot be overstated. Uninterrupted access to clean water has become even more important now, and it will be one of the critical drivers of a safer world in the ‘new normal.’ The pandemic has underlined the role of clean water and reliable sanitation in preventing and controlling the disease, and in making hospitals and communities resilient in the face of extraordinary challenges.

This is why there is no better time to get smarter about water. One of the ways to safeguard our precious water resources is by forming a cohesive partnership between people and technology. Through this, we will be able to further innovate solutions that help save water, energy and cost.

The utility sector has already made great strides as one of the early adopters of digital transformation, with more and more companies realising that improved digital water capabilities hold the answer to accurate and efficient utilisation and resource management.

One of the ways to safeguard our precious water resources is by forming a cohesive partnership between people and technology

The utilisation of Smart Water Networks and Smart Metering, for example, are some of the important mechanisms to revolutionise how water is transported, treated, and monitored. This can also reduce water losses by minimising Non-Revenue Water (NRW). Today, one-third of utilities around the globe report a clean water loss of more than 40% due to leaks. One of the first steps in addressing NRW is ensuring accurate measurement and meter readings. Unmetered water and inaccurate billing, delayed customer leak detection, and apparent loss can all create costly problems, as well as unwanted water waste. A Smart Water network enables accurate data collection to capture previously unmeasured low flow water, as well as pinpoint the location of a weakened area that could be a future leak or one which is occurring – and this is vital in reducing NRW. After all - you can’t manage what you can’t measure.

Water resilience and affordability are also key factors in the protection and appropriate management of water resources. Delivering water is not always an efficient process and a lot of water can be lost along the way. To prevent water loss due to leaking infrastructure, faulty meters and unauthorized use, smart infrastructure solutions must be utilized. They can also help communities mitigate the impact of severe weather events and recover from them. They support local economies and ecosystems from the adverse impacts of flooding and pollution overflow.

Now is the time to focus on the role that smart technology plays in safeguarding our water resources to serve and protect the entire world population. As a leading global water technology provider, we are uniquely positioned to help solve water challenges and raise awareness of the critical role that water plays in making our planet more sustainable, and liveable. This gives us a powerful opportunity and responsibility to effect change – a charge that inspires us to action every day.

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