World Water 2050- Hydropolitics Academy,

World Water 2050- Hydropolitics Academy,

Water is the key driving force of all nature,

What are the key driving forces to the future of water?

Why We Need to  Consider Key Forces Driving the Future of Water

The finite water resources face pressure from rising demand. Population growth, improving living standards, industrialization, development, and agricultural practices will contribute to increasing demand for water during the next 20 years. Global water use is likely to increase by 20 to 50 percent above current levels by 2050, with industrial and domestic sectors growing at the fastest pace. We need to establish a long-term vision of the future of water management. Therefore we should examine the future of water through the prism of key drivers.

Safe water, healthy people and a sustainable planet can only be achievable goals by examining five critical drivers to the future of water.

Some associations( like AWWA)  have identified five critical drivers that will influence progress toward a sustainable and resilient water future:  sustainability, technology, economics, governance, and social/demographic.
These drivers will be considered by Hydropolitics Academy to establish a long-term vision of the future of water.

  1. Sustainability. Managing our planet’s limited water resources and building infrastructure for water is paramount. Climate change is among the biggest risks. It will bring conditions that are more fierce and less predictable: extended droughts and heatwaves, increased hurricanes and wildfires, and severe winter storms. The future will require skillful and creative stewardship of our most vital natural resource, as well as innovative approaches to keep water infrastructure strong and resilient.
  2. Technology. As the world enters the fourth industrial revolution, water professionals have access to new technologies that are changing the way they interact with water resources, water systems, and the people they serve. Advances in data, analytics, the Internet of Things (IoT), machine learning, and artificial intelligence will increasingly empower consumers and influence water system operations. Adoption of new technologies will solve complex problems and sometimes introduce unintended challenges.
  3. Economics. Water is a critical economic engine for North American communities and across the globe. Increasingly, the water community is asked to do more with less, while also addressing rising infrastructure needs. We must consider important economic factors such as regionalization, supply chain resilience, decentralized treatment, ESG approaches to assessing risks and value, and the benefits of a circular economy. Rate-setting will occur in a world more keenly aware of equity and affordability challenges.
  4. Governance. The roles of federal, provincial, state, and local governments significantly impact how water utilities are operated and regulated. Both economics and governance will shape the model of tomorrow’s water utilities. Some communities may turn to regional solutions to gain efficiencies. As regulatory structures evolve, communities will have to evaluate new approaches, such as fit-for-purpose standards and decentralized treatment. 
  5. Social and Demographic. Public interest and concern about water quality and equity is rising, which means all communities must work to strengthen public trust. Simultaneously, potential population shifts between urban and rural areas are creating resource and infrastructure challenges — while also forcing community-driven water solutions. Population growth in water-stressed communities will require innovative thinking to manage limited supplies. 

Apart from the abovementioned drivers ,10 major external forces (‘drivers’) that have direct and indirect consequences for water managers, including Agriculture; Climate change and variability; Demography, Economy and security; Ethics, society and culture; Governance and institutions; Infrastructure; Politics; Technology; and Water Resources.

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