The Pivot Project: Post-COVID 19 Futures. We are seeking your insights from the Water Sector
Mairi Macintyre, Ian Abbott-Donnelly and Peter Williams
COVID-19 is a catastrophe in many areas of society, in many parts of the world. Yet it may be possible to learn lessons from the pandemic that will help us manage our impact on the environment (and on each other) once the pandemic is under control. This is true for water resources, and water or waste-water systems, just as for other vital areas of life. We have been struck, for example, by stories of how aquatic life has responded favorably to the lack of human activity - what does that tell us? We have also seen discussions in the water press, for example about how waste-water treatment operators may need additional protection from infection. Is this permanent? Will treatment plants need to be re-designed? With many people working from home, daily demand patterns for water have changed - how long-lived is this likely to be? And what do these issues teach us about how we manage our environmental impact?
We are part of a team identifying the impacts and lessons, both good and bad, across all areas of society. With this blog post we would like to tap the enormous power and wisdom of The Water Network to help influence how we can all re-start the planet!
We ask you to respond to the questions below from your personal perspective
Maybe you are a water professional: a resources manager, a lab technician, or a water or waste-water systems operator; or you are an environmentalist; or you work in a water-dependent industry; or you are a water business analyst; or a smallholder with your own well; or maybe you are a member of the public. All of these perspectives, and any others, are valuable to us.
When you reply, please state your role with respect to water, and the area or country you are writing about. Feel free to write as little or as much as you would like. Also, feel free to comment on other posts that people make, comparing and contrasting (politely, please!) with your own experience. Thank you in advance for your help!
1) Water Resources & Water Systems
Thinking about water resources and water systems in your geographic area or your organization, what changes have there already been as a result of Covid-19? (For example, access to water resources for leisure or consumption, water quality testing, water system operations, well management, water distribution practices, water conservation, pricing strategies, or payment management )
2) Waste Water & Sanitation
Thinking about waste water and sanitation management in your geographic area or organization, what changes have there already been as a result of Covid-19? (For example, community engagement in waste-water management, disease sensing, water treatment operations, discharge management).
3) Future Changes
What future changes to water resources, or water systems or waste-water/sanitation systems in your geographic area or organization do you anticipate as a result of COVID-19?
4) Positive benefits
Among the changes that you see, are there any that could improve the management of water resources, or water and waste-water systems? (For example, reduced energy usage or reduced greenhouse gas emissions, improved sustainability or improved customer service).
5) Adverse Effects
Among the changes that you see, are there any that will have an adverse effect? (For example, increased greenhouse gas levels or energy usage, reduced sustainability or reduced customer service, or issues in other areas such as food production or energy generation).
6) Future of water Post Covid-19
In your geographic area or organization, what changes from COVID-19 in the management of water resources, or water and waste-water systems really keep you awake at night? What severe problems are emerging that you will need to pay attention to?
Here is a link to content about Covid-19 posted on The Water Network in the past few weeks
Thank you for your experiences, views and comments!
Image sources: https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/03/22/access-water-vital-covid-19-response-0, https://www.defenceweb.co.za/security/human-security/no-water-no-fear-as-community-leaders-in-kenya-step-up-to-coronavirus-challenge/, https://theconversation.com/flushing-is-our-next-weapon-against-covid-19-if-youre-happy-to-have-your-sewage-scrutinised-136844