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Sunday, April 14, 2024

Reuse and recycling, instruments for effective water protection – El Financiero

We assume that when we open the tap, water will flow from it and we can safely use it for whatever purpose it is necessary. This has been the case for many years, which is why it is difficult for us to imagine that this certainty is now threatened and the water is at risk of running out or becoming unusable in the short or medium term.

Globally, water faces serious challenges. Today, 2.2 billion people still live without safely managed drinking water, including 115 million people who still drink surface water. About half of the world’s population is experiencing a severe water shortage, at least a significant part of the year. The list of disasters over the past 50 years is dominated by water-related disasters, which account for 70 percent of all natural disaster-related deaths. 153 countries have at least one of 310 river or lake basins and 468 inventoried transboundary aquifer systems within their territory. Transboundary waters account for 60 percent of freshwater flows worldwide. And only 24 nations report that all their transboundary waters are covered by cooperation agreements.

The theme chosen by the UN for this Water Day 2024 is “water for peace”. Water is as capable of pacifying us as it is of triggering conflicts between human beings, especially when it is scarce or contaminated, or when people lack access to it or it is inequitable. Prosperity and peace depend on water, which is why nations must put water cooperation at the heart of their plans while appropriately managing climate change, mass migration and political instability. Water can lead us out of a crisis, and we can pursue harmonious coexistence between communities and countries, gathering around a fair and sustainable use of water, with actions at the local level.

We are faced with the urgent and imperative need to unite all in the protection and conservation of our most precious resource, water. To do this, we have two powerful instruments, reuse and recycling, whose time to take action has arrived and should not be delayed any longer.

A very low percentage of companies have established specific water conservation goals, an objective that lags far behind the no less important objectives of reducing carbon emissions or waste. Companies that adopt reuse and recycling programs not only improve their operational performance, but also contribute to mitigating risks related to climate and severe drought, thereby making progress toward achieving their sustainability goals. Additionally, technological advances are making the reuse of water economically viable and increasingly so.

Therefore, it is necessary to rely on robust public policies that stimulate the widespread adoption, starting today and without delay, of systems for water reuse and recycling.

Raúl Asís Monforte González.

E-mail: [email protected]

Facebook: Raúl Asís Monforte González

Twitter-X: @raulmonforteg

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