Sustainable water management is preserving the viability and availability of water resources for the future while meeting the water needs of the present. It requires a protean and holistic approach addressing socio-cultural, techno-economic, and environmental issues.
To attain water sustainability implementing an effective and universal method to manage water resources is essential. The surge of water-related hazards like droughts and floods is causing water stress to a large number of people. With the rising demands on multiple water resources and climate change, the need to sustainably manage water resources has increased. It is crucial to preserve them in an integrated manner.
As recently reported by the World Meteorological Organization, more than half of the world is failing to sustainably manage water resources. And the water sustainability conditions are to remain the same or worsen by 2030.
Sustainable Water Management Essentials
Water management systems should be durable and comprehensive. It must be reliable in its performance even under extreme conditions and catastrophic calamities. In addition to that, the sustainable water management system should show persistence throughout intergenerational time periods while being robust.
There are some crucial issues that need to be well-comprehended before building a water management system. For example, the lack of knowledge of closely related components such as rate of underground water purification, depth-fluctuation during withdrawals and infiltration, etc. is crucial information. But in many cases, the details about water supply and quality are considered sufficient to sustain water resources. Sustainable water management can be made feasible when the systems not only overcome the failure but also manage it.
According to the University of Lynchburg’s Dr. Thomas Shahady, it is high time to gear up the preparations for sustainable water management for the future. Depending on the past functionality of the water management systems and not leveling up with the significant natural changes is absurd. As the climate continues to change, it is important to keep up with the varying needs in order to sustainably manage water. More education related to these water management systems must be conveyed in order to amply support the inclusion of more wells, irrigation systems, septic tanks, etc. Diving into it without proper knowledge will lead to hazardous water loss in the near future.
The Paradigm Of Climate Change And Its Immense Impact
Increasing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere impacts the temperature and causes shifts in precipitation and the hydrologic cycle. This in turn affects the water resources. Climate change can no longer be side-lined. From catastrophes to coral reefs bleaching due to acidification, flooding events, etc., it can no longer be ignored.
The massive impact of climate change on water resources will require diligent leadership and intellectual horsepower to empower sustainable management. This is no time to debate the probable effects of climate change. We need to discuss and discover solutions instead.
The primary variables for this debate regarding the water cycle entail surface water capture, uneven distribution of rainwater, and groundwater recharge. Unprecedented weather catastrophes like Tropical Storm Nate and floods damage the physical integrity of streams, destroy property, dams, crops, livestock, etc. It deprives people of bare water necessities.
What Can Be Done For Sustainable Water Management Next?
As the planet gets warmer, the pattern of precipitation changes thereby influencing the water cycle. This makes the current and previous methods of water management irrelevant and unreliable. The water needs of the world are increasing exponentially with the ever-changing climate. As the present systems continue to fail, future sustainable water management systems must adopt a newer approach. Though the current water system is unable to meet the rapidly increasing water demands it is not rational to rebuild the whole system from scratch. In order to achieve water sustainability goals, the crisis must be adequately managed. It is important to study, discover and innovate new methods of water management rather than inventing arguments favoring the old ways.
Water infrastructures like aquifers, stormwater drains, wastewater treatment works, and water supply reservoirs etc. must be looked at with an updated perspective. The current water management systems may soon become obsolete. It is because they will not be functional in a changing climate in the future. Water managers must produce a broad range of new ideas to combat future possibilities of natural hazards and climate risks. It is now the time to plan alternatives for the sustainable management of water in the future.
The urgency of finding adequate sustainability solutions against climate change is undeniable. While the impact of climate change is low, it is wise and absolutely essential to put out the very best ideas and put those management plans into effect. The future of water availability depends on upgrading sustainable water management systems.