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Water – a critical resource in the 21st century

Population growth, increased industrial and agricultural demand, increased domestic water usage per capita and urbanisation are some of the factors that have made water a critical resource in the 21st century. Anthropogenic climate change has led to the paradoxical combination of increased droughts, floods, unpredictable variability in water supply and rising sea levels. Increased water usage has severely depleted the water table in many areas.

All these changes present severe challenges that make water conservation, efficient usage and reduction in wastage ever more critical. Growing city populations have created additional strain on urban water systems and the way they are managed.

These critical problems emphasise the need for new creative solutions and for more efficient management in this sector. Traditional public utility management is often inadequate to deal with these challenges, but handing over water supply to the private sector is in many cases unacceptable.

CIP's Innovative solutions in the water sector

  • Water harvesting
  • Water conservation
  • Recycling
  • Desalination and purification technologies
  • Purification of wastewater to reduce pollution and increase the available water supply
  • Constructing canals between rivers with different annual cycles to create more balanced water supply throughout the year
  • Protecting canals from evaporation with solar panel canopies; thus creating new opportunities for renewable energy supply
  • Improved management and regulatory frameworks
  • Improved engineering of urban and rural water supply networks to reduce wastage
  • Improved metering methods for domestic and industrial water usage to encourage optimum usage
  • Better legislation and improved awareness to reduce industrial, agricultural and domestic pollution of waterways and the water table

Innovative solutions do exist to improve the management and regulation of water by introducing private sector rigour to a public sector utility. Technological and engineering innovations have been effective in recent years in conserving water and creating efficiencies in water supply.

With its associates and partners, CIP can work with water authorities, industry and agriculture to implement innovative solutions.