Water shortages and urban planning are distinctly linked in the 21st century. So, water conservation has to be a mandate of our era.
Our planet has an abundance of water. But, only about 3% of it is potable. As the 21st century rolls on, the possibility of a water shortage has come to fruition in many countries. With a growing planetary population, with greater and greater numbers beginning to gather in cities all over the world, this number is of great concern.
So, what’s the full measure of the problem? And what kinds of things are being done about it? Take a look at this video produced by Unesco that examines some of the finer points, and with an outline of the kinds of strategies that are being devised to conserve, and preserve our water supply.
I suppose one of the things that sparked this off for me personally is the recent flooding in Calgary, and in Toronto where I used to live. Flooding seems to be counterintuitive to a lack of water, maybe. But, floods greatly affect the quality of drinking water. This is particularly because of aging water management infrastructure.
Another reason is that deluge levels of rain all at once rather than moderate levels of rainfall across a longer period isn’t exactly in line with the way we’ve historically managed urban drinking water. Floods endanger safe drinking water sources. Filtration is more challenging, and therefore it’s more difficult to ensure that excessive rainfall doesn’t negatively impact the quality of drinkable water after the rains have stopped.
Cooperative efforts; public, private, academic
Seeing that global populations are becoming more and more urbanized, it seems to me that the matter of water conservation and water management is also an issue of urban planning. A lot of this comes down to money; who will pay for the support of clean water, and therefore the support of a very thirsty population? And if nothing is done about water conservation, how will cities, states, nations absorb increasing health costs that result in declining water quality as our century rolls on?
Solving these problems also comes down to knowledge and perspective, and the cultural and mental shifts that need to be involved in both. Once again, I think the answer can only be found by cooperative efforts between public, private, and academic arenas. We need public infrastructure, private financial support, and academic knowledge to address the issues of the global water shortage fully. In short, we need the best that humanity has.
What do you think?
What is life like right now in your community when it comes to water? Have you experienced drought conditions, or extreme weather conditions that have affected the quality of your drinking water?
What about the money side of things? What financial changes do you think need to be made to address the water in cities question?
What are your ideas about water conservation at home?
Tell me all about it in the comments section!