Water, the Oil of the 21st CenturyWater, the Oil of the 21st Century
As the world reaches its 8 billionth inhabitant the pressures on water supplies continue to rise, often ignored and underestimated. The pressures on water supply present huge challenges, but also opportunities to improve capture, conservation, and management.
What is changing?
The discussions of the impacts of population growth focus on food, but often ignore the need for water to achieve food production, to support power supply and the production of other goods and services. In China alone demand for water is forecast to grow by 63%, by 2030. Pressures on water are rising.
Currently, about one third of the world’s population lives in areas of poor supply, with all the attendant health and economic development problems, rising to two thirds by 2025. Many of the countries at most severe risk of water shortages are in the Middle East, North Africa and East Asia. Climate change and severe weather events add to vulnerability of supply, increasing the risk of short or long term drought and loss of river flow, but also damage to infrastructures. Massive growth in urbanisation – about 70% of the population will be urban by the middle of the century up from 50% now – will increase demand for sanitation and clean water. But developed nations also face potentially significant shortages too.
Why is this important?
The world is thought to have adequate water supplies overall: the problems lie in poor management, inefficient use, and inadequate conservation. Therein lie both the opportunities and the challenges: if we do not grasp the former, we will certainly face the latter.
This is where UnifAI Technology takes a major step forward in providing guidance on better managing water quality risks, by the deployment of real-time water quality monitoring solutions, that can provide timely information about water quality by directly processing the data collected from distributed monitoring mechanisms, thereby enabling quick responses to address potential leakages and water pollution incidents.