How local communities can combat water shortages

With hotter summers and warmer winters, there is a new ecological effect that we all need to be concerned with, water shortages. Despite what appears to be a problem with no silver bullet in sight, we have the technology at hand today to significantly reduce scarcity in 35 years.

What was thought to be a third world issue is anything but the case. Now, we have global powers looking at the situation and trying to find solutions to combat water shortages in the future, today. The reality is, communities can come together to do this.

Solutions like Veolia Water Technology can give communities and their leaders the insight and practical help in doing this, but there are so many things that can be done by communities today as well that could make a significant difference.

A recent paper published in Nature Geoscience has outlined strategies in six key areas that scientists believe can be combined in different ways in different parts of the world to effectively reduce water stress. Water stress occurs when more than 40 per cent of the available water from rivers is unavailable because it is already being used and issue which may affect as many as half the people in the world by the end of the century if the current pattern of water use continues.

So how can communities combat water shortages? Here are a few ideas to get community leaders thinking.

Creating water filtration systems

Getting water access is one thing, having access to safe drinking water is another. Water filtration systems can provide freshwater which is what we all need, especially if we don’t want to get water born diseases. The development of sophisticated water filtration systems that can produce water, free from bacteria, microbes and other contaminants will use less water and thus serve a wider purpose in combating water shortages.

Water stewardship

The saying, “it takes a village to raise a child”, well there is a new one which is becoming more important, “it takes a community to protect the future.” Water stewardship is one of those very mottos in action. From taking shorter showers to installing low-flow toilets water stewardship is a big part of the puzzle when it comes to combat shortages. Solutions like eradicating leaks in public spaces to using rainwater to treat plants and gardens in private homes, they all have an impact in this very area.

Desalination technology

For many years science has tried to find the solutions of taking water from the sea and making it into a consumable product. Whilst desalination has been around for a long time, the effectiveness, cost returns and installation have only really started to appear in the last few years. For communities that are surrounded by water, or have oceans near their homes, this kind of technology is making the leap in not only the production of safe, clean water to consume and use, but it also combats local water shortages when reservoirs are running low or when there has been a drought affecting their community.