Today is World Water Day and this year the theme is fully aligned with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal 6, “Water for all by 2030 – Leaving No One Behind.”

Leave No One Behind

It’s a day to raise awareness and for the public and businesses to reflect on the billions of people around the globe who still face life without a safe water supply.  A day to emphasise and confirm the developed world’s commitment to help vulnerable groups such as women, children, the disabled, the elderly, refugees and indigenous people gain access to the most basic requirement for human life. This is something the developed world takes for granted every day.  It’s somewhat ironic then, that just 3 days before World Water Day, Environment Agency chief executive Sir James Bevan warned us all that England is on course to run short of water in less than 25 years.

I’m sure the rest of the world finds it almost inconceivable that the nation perceived as wearing pin stripe suits and bowler hats, with an umbrella always in hand, could possibly suffer a water shortage. For our part we usually consider water shortage to be a problem that happens elsewhere in the globe.

In fact, of course, the issues of water resource feast and famine stretch back to the dawn of time. Water has always kept humanity in check, reminding us of its great power, not just to preserve life, but also to take it away in the most dramatic manner. Flooding on a biblical scale, sinking unsinkable ships or just not bothering to show up in any significant quantity for a few years, all come to mind.

Green & Pleasant Land?

The tables turned with the arrival of Industrialisation in the 18th and 19th centuries. Populations became increasingly concentrated in urban areas around factories and the impact on sanitation and clean water became the greatest barrier to sustainable growth in production. Spillage and overflow from processing plants had a significant negative impact on local water quality and the environment. The problem has been escalating ever since.

The increasing speed at which populations increase and humanity moves on to the next advancement in living standards, vastly depletes the time nature has to break down the ever-increasing volumes of detritus that, by its very design, withstands these natural processes.

Fast forward to 2019 and suddenly we are realising that water stress is a significant threat throughout our green and pleasant land and climate change, population growth, leaks and irresponsible usage are putting us on course for severely depleted stocks in the very near future. This time we can’t blame a natural disaster; the fault lies with us.

A Steller Stellar Solution

So, we’ve created the problem, how can we become a part of the solution? Well, we all know we are jointly and severally responsible for preserving our water resources and raising awareness and money to help ensure global water accessibility. As home owners, business people and humans we can all do our bit to preserve water in our day to day usage.

On a larger scale though, we need to accumulate the most accurate and in-depth data, continually and in real time, from water and wastewater plants, natural water resources and from end-users at work and at home, all over the globe. Fast, accurate data enables better insights-driven decision making, the creation of predictive business and sustainability models and avoidance action.

Interestingly, as the European Space Agency pointed out in their highly informative video released today for World Water Day, satellite communications can play a big part in the solution. On a global scale, satellite can help locate and monitor fresh water sources; increase our understanding of ice loss and global warming; enable us to predict water demand; furnish us with information on the water cycle and monitor plant health for successful irrigation schemes. On an industrial scale, using satellite to monitor remote water plants, we can, for example detect leaks before they become a serious problem and monitor illegal abstraction and irrigation.

Satellite provides an accurate and complete view of this data 24/7 and eliminates the risk of human error in data collection and transmission. In the event of a natural disaster when terrestrial solutions fail, satellite solutions remain operational. They also offer enhanced security over a private network in a world where the importance of cybersecurity is ever increasing.

Water For All

We have no control over heavy rainfall and unprecedented events, but we can mitigate the impact and outcomes with accurate predictions, as a result of all this data. Industrial pollution is avoidable by understanding the scenarios and industrial activities that need to be altered. By measuring water courses and using this critical data to understand and change human behaviour we can attempt to reverse the damage to the aquatic ecosystem, help to maintain a nature balance and start to preserve our natural resources to achieve the goal of water for all.

Matthew Ellison
Business Development Manager
Water and Wastewater
Wireless Innovation

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