The Water Sector Investment Gap Is Widening – Are We Ready For The Consequences?
Guest PostThe water sector has famously always struggled to receive the investment that it needs. To put this into context, the US will have an $84 billion funding gap by 2020, which will increase to $140 billion in 2040. With growing global populations, all resources will feel the strain, but water is a basic need for survival, and even food growth depends on healthy, plentiful water access. Still, cities across the world are struggling to meet basic water services, as we’ve seen lately with the California area.
The 100 largest cities in the world cover less than 1% of the planet’s surface, but they take their water from 12% of the land space (that roughly translates to a land mass the size of Russia). As watersheds aren’t usually within every city’s vicinity, water travels a long way to end up in residents’ taps. Collectively, the top cities transfer 3.2m cubic metres over 5,700 km, to keep their tenants in good plumbing. On average, 90% of L.A.’s water travels more than 71 km to reach their city.
Protecting Water Sources For The Future
As all this water travels through agricultural areas, protecting water at the source is a much more viable and cheap way to maintain pockets of healthy water to feed our population. Often, treating water after it has been polluted costs more money than using uniform good water practice. Habitats that have been affected by destructive practices, such as deforestation and agricultural fertiliser, can be restored to better health, which will then reduce sediment and nutrient pollutants in our water system.
Just by improving farming practices, we could make a positive impact on the 172 million people (in the world’s largest cities) who drink water that runs through cropland. Natural solutions could potentially save cities $890 million a year in expensive water treatment costs, but it would require initial investment to protect water sources from pollution.
What Can We Do?
According to a survey conducted by OnlinePump Supplies, many people waste unnecessary amounts of water, and small changes to habits could make a big difference on not just the price of their bills, but to the global consumption of water. Drinkable water is a finite resource and our population is constantly growing. With climate change, drastic weather conditions will also change the availability of drinkable water for many areas.
It’s not just the domestic sphere that needs to take head, but the corporate sector too. Businesses need to start exploring methods of conserving water, to ensure lower overheads and company safety.
Ask your government to make the necessary investments in the water sector, as countries desperately try to keep their supply economically viable. The more investments in this area, the safer our water will be for ourselves and future generations. The time to look forward is now, and make plans for water security that will secure this vital resource, even with changes to the population.