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How to solve the growing global water shortage problem?


The vast majority of water use in developed countries comes not from household consumption (just 12%), but from agriculture, manufacturing and other industrial activities.

The textile factory that makes your clothes, for example, uses more than 650 gallons of water to make a single shirt. The cars we drive, the smartphones we use, the almonds we eat, and the paper we use at school all require a lot of water. These products are often produced in areas facing the greatest water challenges, meaning that water challenges in one part of the world have an impact on another.

By 2025, more than half of the world's population will live in water-stressed areas. Water scarcity poses a threat to human health, economic growth and living standards, making water scarcity a global and local problem. Yet politics, finance and technology can provide solutions.

For example, incentives to encourage water reuse projects and policies to remove or reduce technical barriers to water reuse can help advance water sustainability.

The water cycle paves the way for a more resilient water supply in many ways.

When an industrial facility uses water, it usually treats the wastewater according to relevant local standards and discharges it into local summer waterways. But what if the facility recycles the water before finally treating it and releasing it into the environment?

As primary water users: industrial facilities and data centers, both of which can treat wastewater to a quality suitable for use as cooling tower water or boiler feed water.

In the city-island nation of Singapore, a closed-loop process that recycles wastewater streams is increasingly being used in the manufacturing of semiconductors, a local industry crucial to the economy.

In Southern California, some treated municipal wastewater is used for landscape maintenance and agricultural irrigation. Water reuse is the most promising solution to water scarcity and the most sustainable strategy for meeting our water needs.

While population growth, increased industrialisation and climate change are causing global water shortages, this is not the case. Almost every water use challenge we face has solutions that support our way of life.

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