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Innovative Solutions Shaping the Future of Water Management

A quarter of the global population lacks access to safely managed drinking water, highlighting the urgent need for innovative solutions. Amidst challenges such as climate change, water pollution, and increasing demand, technology and entrepreneurship are emerging as crucial pillars in the quest for sustainable water management.

Yacouba Sawadogo, renowned as ‘the man who stopped the desert,’ revolutionised rainfed crop efficiency in Burkina Faso through a traditional practice called ‘zai.’ His approach, alongside other technology-backed initiatives, reflects a growing trend of addressing water crises through creativity and innovation.

The impact of demographic pressure, water contamination, and climate change necessitates swift and efficient action for the sustainable use of water. “Research and development (R&D&I) emerge as fundamental tools in this endeavor, not only for economic growth but also for ensuring the sustainability of water resources”, explains Juan Luis Sobreira, Director of the Open Innovation Division at the Galician Technological Institute (ITG).

In a bid to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 6 (Clean water and sanitation) by 2030, various initiatives focus on social and environmental objectives. One of them, D4RUNOFF, seeks to design solutions based on nature and data (thanks to water infrastructure and sensors, among other elements) to manage and reduce urban water pollution.

Entrepreneurs and technology companies are at the forefront, introducing groundbreaking solutions to improve water management globally. From portable water filtration systems to innovative irrigation platforms, these initiatives target both water purification and accessibility challenges. Startups like Waterologies and Savia Atmospheric are addressing water scarcity by designing portable filtration equipment and atmospheric water-harvesting systems, respectively. Some companies go beyond technological solutions to drive social impact. AUARA, a social enterprise, dedicates 100% of its dividends from selling recycled water bottles to bring drinking water to over 200,000 people in the next five years. With one in ten people living in water-stressed regions, the focus is also on resource conservation.

Initiatives like Kilimo and Trinity AgTech optimise water use in agriculture, while Bioazul develops advanced water treatment and reuse solutions.

The collaborative efforts of startups, technology companies, governments, and citizens are crucial for achieving a more sustainable water management system. As climate change intensifies, working on water governance, identifying pressures on water sources, and implementing conflict resolution measures become essential for leaving a better environment for future generations.  Individuals can also contribute to water savings through technology, as seen with AquaReturn’s innovative appliance preventing water wastage at home. Through these collective efforts, the goal of saving water, ensuring sustainable use, and addressing water scarcity is becoming more achievable every day.

For more detailed information, you can refer to the original article in Spanish which has been published on BBVA.

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