How smart cities around the world are providing solutions to water scarcity problems

Water scarcity has always been one of the main preoccupations for today’s world and its future. Getting clean and usable water to everyone is a priority. Recently, water scarcity problems and solutions have been widely discussed, even by the United Nations who has asked every country to make a collective effort. From recent projects and studies seems that cities around the world are finding interesting solutions by implementing smart technologies. 

During last September, in New York, the newly elected United Nations president Miroslav Lajčák called on the present assembly to assess the water situation, and find a solution for everybody. Water scarcity is a serious issue that causes power shortages, crop failures, as well as mass migration, making it a top priority for everybody. At the aforementioned meeting, also known as the High Level Panel of Water, Lajčák explained that the tensions surrounding water scarcity can easily lead to violence and tensions between communities, people, and countries. The panel is made up of 11 government leaders and one special advisor that can help assess the situation better. After the recent meeting, the initiative announced was the “Water for Sustainable Development” which will have a running period that extends through to the next decade. The campaign focuses on aiding the international communities in solving their respective water crises. The main goal is sanitation and water for all, and is classified under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Because the initiative is so grand and important, the UN has asked for a collective effort on all fronts; including regional and national authorities, civil society, financial groups, and even the private sectors.

Water scarcity is different for every country, which means that although the effort is collective, the individual nations are also responsible in enforcing their own rules and initiatives to solve their respective problems. Nevertheless, the goal is the same for everybody, reason to why the international cooperation on the water issue is known as “hydro-diplomacy”. For this reason, smart technology has also been an important resource in trying to fix and ameliorate the water scarcity issues in different countries. A perfect example of the implementation of smart tech can be seen in the Tajikistan region. In Tajikistan, the issue of water scarcity is a priority as it is for almost all of the rest of Central Asia. With their main sources of water being two rivers, the Amu Darya and the Syr Darya, countries are working on preserving the rivers and their water as much as possible. With the possibility of a reduction in water flow by 2050 caused by global warming, Central Asian countries are working around the clock in order to avoid the disaster that would be caused by said shortage. In fact, in Tajikistan the possible problem is being faced by the construction of the Rogun Dam, a clay core, rockfill dam that will be built on the Vakhsh River. It will be 335 metres tall and allow better water management as well as double clean energy production.

Another great example can be found across the globe in Las Vegas. Due to recent shortage issues, a tunnel under Lake Mead has been excavated. The construction is quite sophisticated as, before actually bringing water in the city, it is drawn from the bottom of the lake through a pipe and subsequently brought to a treatment plant- all underground. This drawing method assures that even when levels are on the low side, the city does not risk running dry.

These are only two of the many solutions countries are finding to resolve the pressing issue of water scarcity. With modern technology taking giant steps each day, it is certainly clear how smart technology is a reliable solution to the water issue. There is absolutely no time to waste, and certainly no water to waste either.

 

*) This article was brought to you by Hanna Johnson, free-spirited world traveler. Loves nature and the environment. When she’s not hiding behind her computer working on a new editorial project, you will probably find her browsing museums or rescuing stray cats.

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