Towards a water resilient future

2020 has been a challenging year on so many levels. Pandemic aside, a global water crisis continues to escalate as demand for clean, usable water is outstripping fresh water supply.

Across the globe, we see aging and overburdened water systems struggling to support growing populations and increasing demands.

Faulty infrastructure and leaking pipes1 are resulting in between 20 to 30% of the world’s water being lost, before reaching its intended destination.

Compounding this, around 4%2 of the world’s electricity is used by the water industry. New energy efficiencies could be achieved, as well as addressing the water crisis, by tackling such infrastructure issues.

Industrial pollution, agricultural runoff, and nutrient overload are also placing a significant strain on our global water systems.

And billions in economic damages worldwide are becoming the norm, caused by water-related natural disasters, such as hurricanes, droughts and flooding3.

It makes for a challenging picture as expanding populations, urbanisation, widespread industrialisation, and increasingly volatile weather patterns take their toll.

But new technologies and solutions are emerging to offer bold new ways to protect and optimise water.

Sustainability through Smart Water Management, the focus of a recent article in the October issue of Energy in Building and Industry (EiBI), shares some interesting insights.  Smart water solutions are a relatively new phenomenon, and work to quantify their full impact is ongoing. But early indications suggest the technology could deliver savings of between £9.5bn and £11.5bn a year through reductions in capital and operational expenditure. It makes for a useful read.

Similarly, Xylem’s commitment to convening a global conversation around water issues has generated a number of useful resources showcasing the growing exciting possibilities now available to solve them:

  • Our report, Harness the Power of Decision Intelligence, highlights how Xylem’s portfolio of “decision intelligence” tools uses the power of digital technologies to transform utility economics and operations.
  • The joint report from Xylem and the International Water Association (IWA), Digital Water: Industry Leaders Chart the Transformation Journey, compiles surveys and input from nearly 50 water utility executives and over 20 subject matter experts to illustrate how leaders in the water sector are using digital solutions to solve water affordability, scarcity and resilience. 
  • Our Wastewater Renaissance Report offers Xylem research that outlines the potential for current technologies to address energy reductions and greenhouse gas emission abatement
  • Xylem’s Smarter Water Manager presents an end-to-end smart water solution platform.

Marking a seventy-year milestone, Xylem’s 2020 mission to solve water and address the water crisis remains as urgent as ever, as in every sector and region, businesses and communities are facing growing water challenges.

We urge all stakeholders to continue to work together to make 2020, and beyond, the opportunity of a lifetime to help the world become water-secure.

We welcome your input to the global conversation around water, as well as questions or ideas on how we might continue to collaborate on, and progress, this critical mission. Contact us via watersolutionsuk@xyleminc.com

For more information on Xylem and its solutions and services, please visit: https://www.xylem.com/en-uk/

Author:

Ian Thompson is the Managing Director of Xylem UK&I; he has worked within the Xylem organisation for over 17 years, initially as Managing Director of YSI UK and more recently as a global business development director for Xylem Analytics, the sensors and measurement division of Xylem. Ian holds a B.Eng. (hons) in Material Science and Engineering from Leeds University and an MBA from Imperial College London. Ian has worked in the water industry for over 25 years’ in business development, marketing, and leadership roles.

References:

1https://www.waterworld.com/home/article/14069970/nonrevenue-water

2https://www.connect4climate.org/article/renewable-energy-solutions-water-energy-climate-nexus

3https://e360.yale.edu/digest/natural-disasters-caused-160-billion-in-damage-in-2018