The major wars of the last half-century were fought over oil supplies, but repeated warnings are made that the major wars of the future will be fought over water supplies.
Conventional Water Resource Management (WRM) practices are based on a Logistics Supply Chain model that delivers more and more water to high consumption urban areas.
After it has been used and processed through wastewater treatment works, this water is discharged as if it were a disposable commodity.
The result is degradation of water quality downstream in rivers, lakes, dams, and reservoirs through eutrophication. Eutrophication promotes the proliferation of algae and toxic cyanobacteria that contaminate the water so severely that eventually it cannot be processed to provide potable water.
So an abundance of unusable, toxic, contaminated water is mistakenly described as a water “shortage”. A water quality problem is misdiagnosed as a water quantity problem.
Conventional Water Resource Management practices are backing us into a corner as they exhaust water resources upstream and degrade water resources downstream.
It is obvious that Nature’s capacity to cleanse water so that it can be reused has been overwhelmed. Doing more of what we did to create this situation will just make it worse. The only logical and possible resolution of the Global Water Crisis lies in finding ways to support Nature in order to move into the Renewable Water paradigm.
Unless Integrated Water Resource Management strategy is developed with Renewable Water as the objective it is not fit for purpose.
Water Resource Management strategy that merely aims to slow down the inevitable is palliative and provides no solution. It is like the captain of the Titanic having plenty of prior warning that he’s going to smash into an iceberg, and just easing back on the throttle a bit but not changing course.
Water resource management professionals must recognize that aquatic environments are dynamic biological systems. This insight and the adoption of Biotechnology Solutions architected upon Systems Theory, provide the only effective platform for Integrated Water Resource Management.
It is only by developing an Integrated Water Resource Management strategy that is focused on managing water quality throughout the Water Cycle to deliver Renewable Water that we can alleviate water “shortages” and obviate the “water wars” that doomsayers are predicting.