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How to improve water security

  • How to improve water security

About the blog

Graham Mann
I have been in the Water & Waste Water industry for 30 years and formed a Water Consultancy business called H2o Building Services both myself and my team have built a wealth of knowledge and expertise Saving companies money on their Water bi
ACCIONA
Idrica

As the world recovers from the global pandemic, governments and health agencies around the world will be making further investment in better hygiene standards to help protect communities against future outbreaks, with resources likely to be diverted to boost the installation of more pipes, taps and wells.

As explained by Mark Smith, director-general of the CGIAR International Water Management Institute, in an article for the Daily Telegraph, water security has become a top priority, with access to clean water vital for hand washing during the coronavirus crisis.

But it isn’t just about providing the infrastructure necessary for the delivery of water, sanitation and hygiene services – it also comes down to the bigger challenge of water management, cutting across all sectors of society as a whole.

Everything from water usage and consumption to sanitation and agriculture puts added pressure on water resources, resources that are already at risk because of climate change and population growth. This means that a coordinated effort is required where water management is concerned.

“Water management must be reinforced through the coronavirus recovery. This includes allocating supplies for different uses and preventing pollution, as well as monitoring resources to avert shortages, manage risks and improve sustainability.

“Balancing competing water demands while safeguarding it in the natural environment is a challenge: one solution is to develop services that address multiple uses and community needs,” Mr Smith observed.

The Institute has now introduced a Multiple Use Water Services approach in over 30 countries worldwide to help ensure that different needs are met in line with the resources that are available.

In South Africa, for example, the approach addresses the needs of rural households with multipurpose infrastructure around homesteads.

This means that investment can then be diverted to ensure that a minimum of three to five litres of drinking water per person each day is delivered, while simultaneously strengthening the sustainability of supplies for other areas.

From a business perspective, you can help boost water security by looking into alternative water resources, whether that’s something like rainwater harvesting, reclaimed wastewater, greywater or even harvested stormwater.

Rainwater harvesting involves collecting the rain that falls on the roof of your site and then filtering it and reusing it for applications like toilet flushing, vehicle washing and so on,

Reclaimed wastewater, meanwhile is that which has been discharged from business operations and then treated at a wastewater facility before being used for irrigation and industrial processes.

As for greywater, this is water that has been lightly contaminated through the use of showers, sinks and washing machines. It can be used for flushing toilets and irrigation, reducing the amount of water taken from fresh sources.

And harvesting stormwater involves treating any rain runoff to non-potable levels so it can be used for irrigation and washing applications. 

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