Nature is our most important asset. Not only is it the base of our economy, it is also an essential part of ourselves. If it gets sick, we all get sick. And its health has significantly deteriorated in the past few decades without traditional economy taking this into account. It is urgent to move forward so that economic advances include nature in the definition of wealth and water is a good indicator. Revising the concept of GDP is a first step.
Floods caused by violent rainfall frequently exceed the capacity of the sewage system and spill all kinds of pollutants into rivers and seas. Adapting urban sanitation systems to these phenomena is vital for the health and preservation of the environment. It is one of the challenges of the smart age in the face of an increasingly urban future. Investments must reach all for results to be sustainable.
Plastic is inherent in the lifestyle of most of the population and it is causing a disastrous environmental damage in which the duality garbage-water is at the same time cause and effect. The industry that has most changed our lifestyle is at a crossroads in which the future of the sustainability of the economy and the environment of the planet is decided.
The latest violent meteorological phenomena experienced in the western Mediterranean area force a review of the factors that define the risk of people and goods. The intensification of exposure and vulnerability is an anthropogenic factor that must be controlled in the face of the foreseeable increase in storms that science is pointing out. Beyond the fight to mitigate the effects of climate change, we have to renew our efforts to adapt to a reality that is here to stay.
The catastrophe of the large Murcian lagoon has the components to unleash a perfect environmental storm. Poor management of the land, water irresponsibility and inefficient governance, disconnected from scientific reality are elements of a full manual of bad practices to be avoided.
In the progress towards global sustainability, the access to water and sanitation plays a double role: it is at the same time a tool and a goal of the solutions. From agriculture to the domestic supply, it provides essential information to attain SDG 6. To achieve it, governments and companies need to take into account the enormous existing asymmetries and ensure that no one is left behind.
Water will always be there, but not water security. It is a more enveloping concept that allows experts to better communicate the complexity of the urban water cycle to citizens, making them participate in its management model, in its benefits and risks. Well informed users enable the creation of a context with a participatory and transparent governance in which we all feel involved. Water security goes beyond the simple access to water and implies constant work.
Most of the water we use is not included in the water bill, it is hidden in every object or in food, in our trips and in our work. It is not the water that flows in the shower or out of the faucet in the bath or the kitchen, it is the water used in the supply chain of goods and services. The water footprint provides this information and informs us that we are trading with water without even realizing it. We therefore contribute to the “transfer” of millions of liters between countries and continents. It is a key factor in the equation of the planet’s sustainability.
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