Technology Can Offer Practical Answers To Deal With Water Scarcity

By Anupam Vikram Joshi May 06, 2023

We can significantly contribute to the preservation of our planet's precious water resources by implementing water-centric solutions like intelligent irrigation, low-flow fixtures, and greywater systems

Technology Can Offer Practical Answers To Deal With Water Scarcity
Nearly three-quarters of the worlds people fall into the category of water-insecure. DepositPhotos

Plastic pollution and water scarcity are two of the most pressing environmental issues facing our planet today. While technology can provide solutions to both, it is important to focus on the specific challenges of water conservation.

Water scarcity is a critical issue that affects millions of people globally. According to the United Nations, over 2 billion people lack access to safe drinking water. This has significant implications for health, education, and economic development, particularly in developing countries.

One of the key ways to conserve water is through efficient irrigation practices. Agriculture is the largest user of water globally, accounting for around 70% of total freshwater withdrawals. Traditional irrigation methods are often inefficient, resulting in significant water waste.

Smart irrigation systems are one technological solution that can help reduce water waste in agriculture. These systems use sensors and weather data to determine when and how much water to use for irrigation. By optimising water usage, smart irrigation can help reduce waste and ensure that crops receive the necessary amount of water for healthy growth.

IoT (Internet of Things) technology can also be used to monitor and manage water usage in households and businesses. IoT sensors can detect leaks and monitor water usage in real-time, allowing for quick identification of water waste and prompt repairs. This can help prevent significant water loss and reduce water bills for households and businesses.

In addition to smart irrigation and IoT sensors, there are many other water-efficient technologies that can be used to conserve water. Low-flow fixtures are one example of a water-efficient technology that can help reduce water usage in households. These fixtures, such as showerheads and faucets, use less water than traditional fixtures without sacrificing performance. This helps conserve water and can also reduce water bills.

Water dispensers can also play a role in water conservation. Traditional water dispensers often waste water by constantly running to maintain a consistent temperature. However, new technology has made it possible to dispense water without wasting any water. Tankless water dispensers use IoT sensors to detect when water is needed and only dispense water when it is necessary. This can significantly reduce water waste and promote more sustainable water usage.

Greywater systems are another solution that can help conserve water in areas with limited resources. Greywater systems collect water from sinks, showers, and washing machines and reuse it for non-potable purposes such as irrigation and flushing toilets. This reduces the amount of freshwater used for non-potable purposes and can help conserve water in areas with limited water resources.

Virtual reality is another technology that can help educate people about the importance of water conservation. By creating immersive experiences that demonstrate the impact of water scarcity on the environment, virtual reality can help raise awareness and encourage people to take action.

However, it is important to remember that technology alone cannot solve the issue of water scarcity. It must be coupled with individual and collective action, as well as government policies and regulations, to create a sustainable future for our planet.

Individuals and households can take action by reducing water consumption in daily life, properly disposing of waste, and adopting water-efficient practices. For example, taking shorter showers, fixing leaks, and using a broom instead of a hose to clean driveways can all help conserve water. Water-efficient appliances, such as washing machines and dishwashers, can also help reduce water usage in households.

Companies can also take steps to reduce their water footprint by implementing water-efficient technologies and practices. This can include optimising cooling systems, using recycled water in manufacturing processes, and reducing water usage in office buildings.

Governments and policymakers also have a crucial role to play in addressing water scarcity. Policies that promote the use of renewable materials, reduce plastic waste, and encourage water conservation can help create a more sustainable future. For example, water pricing policies can encourage consumers and businesses to use water more efficiently, while regulations on plastic usage can help reduce plastic pollution and protect water resources.

In conclusion, while technology can provide solutions to water scarcity, it must be coupled with individual and collective action, as well as government policies and regulations, to create a sustainable future for our planet. By focusing on water-centric solutions, such as smart irrigation, low-flow fixtures, and greywater systems, we can make a significant impact in conserving our planet's precious water resources. Together, we can work towards a future where everyone has access to safe and clean water.

(The author is Founder & Managing Director of WAE (Water, Air & Energy) Ltd.)