Water research and innovation
Water is essential for the food, economy, environment and well-being of every person on the planet. With some regions on Earth now running short of water and the demand for water rising, it is critical that we research and develop innovations to meet the challenges of water scarcity.
Water shortages triggered by natural and human causes have made some places in the world areas of ‘absolute water scarcity’. This is a sobering thought, which is why companies are striving to develop new ways to restore, protect and safeguard the sustainability of our water sources. British Water explain:
“Innovation is widely interpreted as the process by which new products and services are invented, funded through R&D and commercialised or otherwise embodied in the market place. Innovation is a dynamic process and regarded as being key to economic growth. Hence how innovation is encouraged, funded and its success measured; and where good practice can be identified and this knowledge transferred is of interest to all sectors of the water industry.”
Companies making waves in water innovation
The Coca-Cola company was one of the first beverage and food companies. Coca-Cola was first established back in 1892 and over a century later is one of the world’s most recognisable companies. Coca-Cola is highly focused on water management. They have spent over $2 billion on conservation since 2003. Water Smart Agriculture (WaSa) provide the knowledge and tools required to increase food production in areas of limited water supply. Coca-Cola explain:
“CARE promotes community-based and women-centered approaches across Africa to improve the living conditions of smallholder farmers in rural areas. Increasing yields and water-use efficiency in rain-fed environments, and improving access to water for small-scale irrigation, are fundamental issues to increase the yields and therefore the nutrition and incomes of the communities we work with…Coca Cola’s generous support to our water smart agriculture program is making a phenomenal difference in the living conditions of these farmers.”
FREDsense have developed a more affordable and simple way of testing for water contaminants. It is a combination of biology and engineering to detect chemicals in water. They use biosensors with an electrochemical output to create a system that is fast, sensitive, and unlike anything else currently available. It allows you to detect exactly what is present in your water supply. Currently, it picks up the presence of organic compounds and heavy metals, but will in time be developed to also detect pesticides, pharmaceuticals and other contaminants.
Water quality standards, tides, limnology of lakes and rivers, and environmental restoration are just some of the subjects being researched in the worldwide-water management fight. This valuable research helps promote the water security, economic growth and ecosystems of the planet. It is important that as individuals we save water and use it wisely, it estimated that by 2025 two thirds of the world will be facing water scarcity.