Can you imagine a world in which town’s mayors and country’s presidents were to be decided by water?
Román D. Ortiz, Vice-President for Latam and Head of Internal Security and Development in Cordillera Applications Group, Inc., explains how that hypothetical future is not so far away from today. Take a look at the interview below.
”This is going to be the time for specific technologies which could improve the efficiency in the management of water. These type of technologies could be critical in this particular period of time
1.Out of balance
Basically, what we are going to see in the following years, and this is almost sure, is a
massive reduction in investment, particularly in areas such as infrastructure… Particularly in regions such as Africa, Latin America, and so on. This is going to create a situation in which water resources are going to be wasted.
This combination of increasing demand in terms of health and sanitation and decreasing investment in infrastructure is going to increase the probability of a water crisis in the near future.
2. Not enough (good) water
When we are talking about water resources, it’s important to take into consideration that one thing is the physical availability of water and another different thing is if this water is available for human consumption. This means we could have a massive amount of water, but A) could not be accessible for the population; B) the quality of water could not be good enough to be used by humans.
3. The new political weapon
Water like any other basic resource is going to be under political scrutiny and it is going to be used politically as a weapon among different political and social groups.
If we can, at least partially, depoliticize the management of basic resources such as water or the management of basic challenges such as pollution, we are going to make conflict more manageable.
Under the present circumstances, the natural tendency is going to be to allow the government to keep the monopoly on this type of resource and decide what to do with them.
4. Some answers
There are not going to be resources to develop big, ambitious, comprehensive projects to improve the accessibility and the management of water. On the contrary, this is going to be the time for specific technologies which could improve the efficiency in the management of water.
This type of technology, particularly software for management and improved efficiency, and so on, could be critical in this particular period of time because they are relatively cheap and the effects on the management of water could big and relevant.
5. Flexibility is key
We are going to need a much more flexible system that allows us to shape consumption, to shape distribution, and also to shape the cost of these, according to the needs and capacities of the population consuming water. So, if we can be flexible and if we can, for instance, provide more water where is more needed, or to charge more for water to the people who can pay more in exchange for charging less to those who are in a more difficult economic situation, we are going to have a great tool to be able to reduce politicization and to be able to reduce water-related conflicts and so on.
Here the challenge is how to be flexible enough to shape the balance as the situation evolves.