How Can We Manage Water?
To better combat the imminent challenges of soil waterproofing, urbanization, and climate change, it is necessary to embrace sustainable management of water. Rapid urbanization alongside an increase in the demand for water and pollution of water bodies have a negative impact on access to quality water within and outside the cities. These impacts include over-exploitation of water resources, contamination of water bodies, increased risk of flooding, problems in water supplies, and effects on the quality of life of city dwellers.
At the same time, climate change threatens to vary water regimes, reduce water availability, and impose considerable economic costs on public administrations. For this reason, water management must take into account the water stress that originates from rising temperatures, changes in precipitation patterns, climate variability, and the vulnerability of cities to these changes. We, therefore, need to adopt a sustainable manner of managing water, as opposed to the usual unsustainable methods that waste water and transform into an urban runoff, carrying sediment and garbage, and polluting water bodies. There’s a need for a more systematic approach to water management.
Proper Water Management Strategies
Water Quantity Management
1. Improved knowledge of resources and demands: Insufficient knowledge of water resources and demands leads to serious difficulties in developing rigorous water balances. Likewise, it hinders the granting of water use rights and the collection of economic rewards and tariffs. Therefore, the programs to be carried out within the framework of this strategy are the following:
- Implementation of a national hydro-meteorological network
- Creation of awareness on groundwater
- Implementation of the national quantity information system
2. Improved water use efficiency and demand management: On a national scale, the average efficiency of irrigation is around 35%, while the average efficiency in the supply of drinking water is 45%. To prevent inefficient use from leading to loss of water resources, unequal access to water, economic losses in productive sectors limits to agricultural expansion, and salinization of soils due to excess irrigation, it is necessary to adopt measures of diverse typology: technical, economic, administrative and cultural. The technical or structural measures necessary to improve the efficiency of water use are distributed in the following programs:
- Improvement of water conduction and distribution systems
- Technification of irrigation
- Sustainable expansion of the agricultural frontier
3. Increased availability of the resource: The following programs should be developed in this strategy:
- Increased surface regulation of water resources and the transfer of resources between basins
- Reforestation of the headwaters of basins slopes to reservoirs
- Reuse of treated wastewater and desalination of seawater
Water Quality Management
1. Strategy to improve water quality: The deterioration of water quality not only affects rivers for different uses but also causes ecological damage and decreases the value of water as an economic good. Improving the quality of water is, therefore, an unavoidable and unavoidable task, for which, as a first action, it is necessary to know its current quality. The programs to be carried out within the framework of this strategy are the following:
- Program to improve knowledge of the quality of surface waters
- Program to improve knowledge of the quality of groundwater
- Program of normative regulation of water quality and good practices in the use of water
2. Strategy for the improvement and expansion of the coverage of sanitation services: These services include the supply of drinking water and sewerage, as well as wastewater treatment. The State must guarantee the access of the entire population to these services, through the recognition of the importance they have for the care of public health, the overcoming of poverty, human dignity, economic development, and the protection of the environment, in both urban and rural populations. The programs to be carried out within the framework of this strategy are the following:
- Program to increase the coverage of drinking water
- Program to increase sewerage coverage
- Program to increase the coverage of wastewater treatment
Daily Tips on Water Management
- Close the tap when brushing your teeth. You can use glass instead.
- Wash fruits and vegetables in a container and not under running water.
- Install dual model toilets to flush the tank, as these use approximately four liters for the low flush level and six for the high flush. Some use less.
- Repair all leaky faucets.
- Take short showers, maximum of 5 minutes, and close the tap during the application of soap, shampoo, etc. An average saving of 150 liters can be achieved each time.
- Run the washing machine at its maximum load, this will require fewer cycles per week. If you are going to make purchases of new equipment for the home, choose ecological appliances and also use them with the full load, thus you can achieve savings of up to 40% per wash.
- Water the plants and the garden at dusk or dawn and preferably not use hoses but watering cans, to better control the amount of water.
- Sensitize little ones about the need to save water. Avoid buying toys that require liquid flows.
Water is a non-renewable natural resource and at the same time a limited resource, for which efficient use is required, which makes the satisfaction of demands compatible with respect for the environment and other natural resources. The increasing pressure of demand on this vital and irreplaceable resource and the need to preserve the natural environment make public control of its management and administration essential since they concern society as a whole.
Author: Adewole Rukayat