Why is World Water Week celebrated globally? Water is vital to life and all business operations. Whether its individuals traveling across the globe, operations abroad, our food and drinking water, or pharmaceutical, energy, or other production industries, current issues of water security and future concerns over water scarcity will touch us all.
Initially organized in Stockholm, the week is meant to bring to light the global water issues of today and look towards solutions for the future. Many countries are very fortunate to have abundant and readily fresh potable water sources and excellent sanitation. It is hard to believe that some countries, such as Singapore, actually have reduced fresh water supplies and must import a substantial amount of fresh water from neighboring countries, like Malaysia (in Singapore's case).
In fact, many countries we may view as being water abundant, may actually be water poor. Lack of improved delivery methods to homes and businesses, pollution, climate change and other factors, contribute to scarcity of water globally.
Water security means much more than maintaining the safety and integrity of water treatment plants. Globally, there are many countries that lack improved water resources for more than 30 percent of their population. A clean and reliable water supply significantly impacts health and quality of life.
Many experts agree that the current water challenges faced by much of the developing and industrial world will only increase because of urbanization, poor agricultural practice, climate change, and industrial effluents and accidents.
Check out our new video: The Future of Water Security
WorldAware's Health Security Assessment Ratings view Water Security as an integral component of assessing a country's overall health.
As a major part of the Environmental Health sub-category, WorldAware health ratings measure:
- Water quality indices
- Potable water availability
- The vulnerability of a country's water supply
The results are rated from 1, a very low risk, to 5 a very high risk based on global data. The resulting scores on these issues are averaged together to estimate water availability and quality to make informed decisions about water usage.
Water Quality Indices
Water quality indices are captured from available data of leading water conservation projects, such as Yale, World Bank, the WHO, and others. Many impoverished municipalities may be able to pipe in water as a resource but may be ineffective in controlling the quality of this water. Pathogens and chemicals leaching from underground resources may make this water not fit to drink. Lack of infrastructure and poor economic outlook may add to any challenges for improvement.
Potable Water Availability
Potable water availability is also a significant concern. Some countries are water-scarce, due to climate, geopolitical controls oversupply, and Mother Nature. Other countries that may have reach a 100 percent mark on delivery rely on one source; desalination facilities or groundwater. If that source is removed, the country will be immediately become water-poor.
Water Supply Vulnerability
Vulnerability to a country's water supply looks at the impact of climate change, natural disasters that might contaminate the supply, industrial effluents, and accidents that may render water harmful and be very difficult to filter or treat.
World Water Week is intended for us all to reflect (no pun intended) on how we might use our water more carefully and thoughtfully to prepare for the future. How we water our lawns or gardens, how we conserve water with the use of rain barrels or shortened bathing, and how we protect our water by not dumping chemicals into storm drains and proper disposal of refuse, will all contribute to a brighter and wetter future.
During World Water Week, we invite you to learn more about how water security concerns may impact your people or operations around the globe. Download our new white paper, Water Security: The new principal global threat.