Red Javelin has done a lot of work over the years in sustainability. One area that we have been focused is water conservation; specifically the technologies that help businesses conserve water.
In honor of World Water Day 2018 on March 22, we thought we would do a round up on some of the latest water news, the latest water stats, as well as ten organizations whose missions are to create a water-secure future.
Water Scarcity Continues
What does Australia, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles, Miami, Cape Town, and the Middle East all have in common? Water scarcity. All of these regions are suffering from drought conditions or are on the verge of water scarcity due to climate change.
According to The Guardian, more than 2.5 billion people across every continent don’t have access to basic levels of fresh water for at least one month each year – a situation growing ever more critical as urban populations expand rapidly.
In Australia, the millennium drought strained water resources for more than a decade. Cities such as Melbourne were less than a year away from running out of water. Officials in Cape Town, South Africa have delivered a stark warning that taps will run dry on July 11, otherwise known as ‘Day Zero’.
In the US, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City and Miami are all on the verge of water scarcity due to climate change. California has experienced severe drought sue to lack of rainfall. Warming in the Salt Lake City region is depleting local streams, and seawater from flooding is contaminating fresh water wells in the areas around Miami.
Water Facts (Source)
- Less than 1% of the world's water is fresh and accessible.
- 1 billion people lack access to safely managed drinking water services.
- By 2050, the world’s population will have grown by an estimated 2 billion people and global water demand could be up to 30% higher than today.
- Agriculture currently accounts for 70% of global water withdrawals, mostly for irrigation – a figure that rises in areas of high water stress and population density. Industry takes 20% of the total, dominated by energy and manufacturing. The remaining 10% goes to domestic use – the proportion used for drinking water is much less than 1%.
- Today, around 1.9 billion people live in potentially severely water-scarce areas. By 2050, this could increase to around 3 billion people.
- An estimated 1.8 billion people use an unimproved source of drinking water with no protection against contamination from human feces.
- Globally, over 80% of the wastewater generated by society flows back into the environment without being treated or reused.
Ten Organizations Creating a Water-Secure Future
With its inception in 1982, Global Water started as an advocacy group spreading awareness of water issues, however, that focus has transitioned into a project-oriented organization. The organization has built a foundation of technical specialists in the water industry, enabling them to better understand the complexity of water issues in rural areas of developing countries and thereby manage projects more effectively.
The Stockholm International Water Institute
The Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) is a water institute that leverages knowledge and their convening power to strengthen water governance for a just, prosperous, and sustainable future. SIWI believes that the best way to tackle water crises, and help bring about lasting change – with the ultimate goal being the eradication of poverty – is to strengthen water governance among public and private actors alike: the political, social, economic and administrative systems and processes that influence water’s use and management.
World Water Council
The World Water Council is an international multi-stakeholder platform organization whose mission is to mobilize action on critical water issues at all levels, including the highest decision-making level, by engaging people in debate and challenging conventional thinking. The Council focuses on the political dimensions of water security, adaptation and sustainability. The organization’s theme is “Together We Make Water a
United Nations - Water
UN-Water coordinates the efforts of UN entities and international organizations working on water and sanitation issues. There is no single UN entity dedicated exclusively to water issues. Over 30 UN organizations carry out water and sanitation programs, reflecting the fact that water issues run through all of the UN’s main focus areas. UN-Water’s role is to coordinate so that the UN family ‘delivers as one’ in response to water related challenges.
Water.org focuses on empowerment through access to affordable financing. For millions around the world, access to funds stands between them and safe water in their home. Water.org solutions focus on breaking down this financial barrier and bringing hope and opportunity to those in need.
charity: water is a non-profit organization bringing clean and safe drinking water to people in 24 countries around the globe - in Africa, Asia, Central and South America. Water scarcity, poverty, political stability and strong partner organizations all play a part in where projects are funded. Rather than simply taking donations, Charity: Water gets people to start their own campaigns to raise money for clean water. The organization’s website walks you through a simple process of picking an activity and creating a page, promoting your campaign for clean water, and monitoring your donated funds after the fact.
World Wildlife Fund
For 50 years, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has been protecting the future of nature. WWF works in 100 countries and is supported by more than one million members in the United States and close to five million globally. WWF's unique way of working combines global reach with a foundation in science, involves action at every level from local to global, and ensures the delivery of innovative solutions that meet the needs of both people and nature. WWF’s fresh water initiative partners with governments, businesses, international financial institutions and communities to ensure healthy freshwater systems exist to conserve wildlife and provide a sustainable future for all. Together, we can create a water-secure future.
The Nature Conservancy
One of the largest environmental organizations in North America, the Nature Conservancy is dedicated conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. The Conservancy has already established 29 water funds, and 30 more are in development.
The Conservancy has protected more than 119 million acres of land and thousands of miles of rivers worldwide, in 72 countries. The organization addresses threats to conservation involving climate change, access to clean water, ocean health, and everything in between.
The International Water Management Institute, Sri Lanka
The International Water Management Institute (IWMI) is a non-profit, scientific research organization focusing on the sustainable use of water and land resources in developing countries. IWMI works in partnership with governments, civil society and the private sector to develop scalable agricultural water management solutions that have a real impact on poverty reduction, food security and ecosystem health.
The World Bank
As the world’s largest multilateral source of financing for water in developing countries, the World Bank has a portfolio of water investments of US$35 billion. The Water Global Practice is currently managing a lending portfolio that includes 177 projects totaling US$24.5 billion, accounting for about 11% of total World Bank lending. In addition, projects with a water sector-related component managed by other Global Practices total US$10 billion.
Even with all of the resources dedicated to the world water crisis, new and emerging technologies can help with water conservation.