All About Water Management: How We Strive For Water Equality

Water is arguably our most precious resource, although it is often taken for granted.

We all need it to survive, yet it is not equally abundant around the world. It is predicted that by the year 2025, half of the global population will be living in areas without easy access to enough clean water. Meanwhile, floods cause billions of dollars in damage each year. And it’s not only the human population who suffer from problems with our water; freshwater wildlife is also experiencing a global decline which threatens to wipe out some species completely.

There are, however, water management strategies that can be applied to specific situations around the world to tackle some of these problems.

Water transfer schemes

A water transfer scheme is applicable when a nation has areas of water shortage and areas of surplus water. The excess water is collected in reservoirs through rainfall, and is then distributed to other areas of the country through a network of pipes and canals to the further reservoirs and rivers where it is most needed. By creating water transfer networks, countries with a high proportion of inhabited desert land can take advantage of their greener regions to supply those citizens with the water they wouldn’t otherwise have access to.

Dams and reservoirs

By largely blocking rivers which are transferring water to the sea, dams create reservoirs of water which can then be transported elsewhere. However, they also address problems of flooding by controlling the flow of large bodies of water, creating a more stable and managed stream with a year-round supply of water no matter the season. As a further added bonus, electricity can be generated from dams and reservoirs by using hydroelectric power.

Desalination plants

Seawater is undrinkable and dangerous to consume due to its high salt content. But once this is removed, it can be turned into safe drinking water.

A desalination plant processes seawater to remove the salt, transforming seawater into a fresh supply of drinkable water. Due to the high cost of this process it is still only available to richer nations.

Water conservation schemes

Through a combination of product design and behavioral change, it is possible to save water at an individual domestic level which adds up to a much larger national combined saving. The design of products such as toilets, washing machines, dishwashers and showers can be tweaked to use less water while still functioning effectively.

In addition to these design solutions, citizens can be educated in ways to save water around the home by actively using less water in their homes and gardens, while water meters can measure individual household usage.

Groundwater management

About 30% of the freshwater available worldwide is groundwater, meaning it is found beneath the earth’s surface in soil or rock. Keeping this supply of water clean by monitoring and preventing pollution from farming, mining and fracking is essential to maintain its purity.

Mapping and controlling the areas where groundwater is most abundant can ensure this water can continue to be used safely.