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Climate change affecting water access and quality: How Brands are establishing solutions through technology
The global population is currently vulnerable to the calamitous impacts of the time bomb that is ongoing climate change. The sustained increase in the Earth’s average temperature is predicted to pose a big risk to the planet’s water resources.
The supply of quality water and access to it will be impacted by the numerous factors of climate change. Water contamination and infrastructural damage due to flooding, water shortage owing to droughts, and adverse changes in water quality because of changing temperatures are some of the major effects of climate change.
Impacts on Safe Access to Clean Water
According to a UNICEF report, between the period of 2001 and 2018, around 74% of the natural disasters were all water-related including floods and droughts. With the likelihood of such disasters only increasing due to climate change, it is estimated that millions of children won’t have access to clean water.
A 2022 United Nations report states that around 2 billion people across the globe do not currently have access to safe drinking water. As per UNICEF, every day, over 1000 children under the age of 5 die from diseases related to inadequate water, sanitation, and hygiene.
Climate change is real and the current symptoms are only going to magnify unless there is urgent remedial action taken to address the situation at large.
Technology to Play a Major Role in Addressing Water Insecurity
It is estimated that by 2030, the global demand for water will surpass the sustainable supply by around 40%. This calls for a need for a renewed focus on providing innovative water solutions, either through large investments in the water infrastructure or the implementation of sustainable water management practices.
Some breakthrough technologies that can be utilized to tackle the climate change effects and provide greater access to clean water globally include:
1. Desolenator: It is referred to as a solar desalination tool that is reported to remove a total of 99.9% of contaminants from water. The technological tool helps in producing roughly 15 liters of fresh water on a daily basis while costing around Rs 64,000 ($774). Moreover, the device is set to have an estimated lifespan of around 20 years, making it a more than decent option for the future.
2. OrbSys Shower: The technology, developed by a Swedish firm called Orbital Systems, actually collects shower water before purifying it and pumping it back through the showerhead itself. The technological advancement is crucial for regions that have a scarcity of freshwater and can save up to 90% of water usage when showering.
3. LifeStraw: Weighing just more than half a kilogram, the small and inexpensive microfiltration device is successful in removing around 99.9% of waterborne bacteria. Owing to its size, the tool is extremely portable and can filter from 264 gallons to 0.2 microns.
Solutions Provided by Brands to Tackle the Situation
Many private startups and other brands possess the organizational infrastructure as well as the commitment towards tackling the problems related to lack of clean water. These organizations, especially in support of the government have been successful in making technological innovations to improve global water security.
One fine example of the above is Kilimo, a SaaS-enabled marketplace that was set up in Argentina that uses Artificial Intelligence to save water. Helping farmers across six nations across the world, Kilimo has already succeeded in saving around 72 billion liters of water in Latin America while reducing water usage by 30%. Another example is that of NatureDots, which has been helping provide solutions to around 15 million inland freshwater fish farmers in two countries. These farmers have been bearing the brunt of factors like climate risks, deteriorating water bodies, as well a lack of water data.
The alarming signs of climate change’s adverse effect on access to clean water are evident across the world. However, technological innovations in the sector show a lot of promise in improving water access for all communities, while also reducing wastage and ensuring equitable distribution.
Views of the author are personal and do not necessarily represent the website’s views.
A young technocrat with a vision of community building, Advait Kumar is the Co-founder of Boon, a global leading water tech firm. He spearheads technological innovations and business development at Boon with a singular vision of making clean drinking water available to everyone and eliminating the developing water crisis in the country.