The process of digitalization carries a water footprint, with the Internet alone consuming hundreds of millions of cubic meters of water for its maintenance. The widespread adoption of artificial intelligence introduces an unexpected variable that has the potential to elevate energy and water demands to unprecedented levels, adding a new and challenging dimension to the sustainability equation.
Rainfall is a critical parameter in the global economic balance. Droughts are more damaging in the most disadvantaged economies, and their negative impact is magnified where there has been less rainfall in the past. Rainfall variability, generated by global warming, adds uncertainty. A recent World Bank study alerts us and provides an alternative vision for moving forward.
Water stress is increasingly present all across the world. If we do not take measures in the short term, the situation will be critical by the middle of this century and will seriously threaten the world's geopolitical balance. The data are compelling. Demographics, the growth of extractivism, and climate change are against us. On the positive side, we have the growing awareness of governments and companies and increasingly knowledgeable citizens.
Obtaining data on the water status at a given time and place is crucial for effective management. New technologies make it possible to develop transboundary monitoring programs that disseminate scientific knowledge, promote a common understanding of the problems, and convince us that we can do better together.
The search for solutions to the pollution caused by mercury used in artisanal gold mining reveals how difficult it is to deal with a semi-clandestine activity widespread in many developing countries, often generating an informal economy. Mercury causes death and keeps more than one million people worldwide chronically and silently ill. Developing global ethics for the gold market is essential to end dumping and provide justice for miners.
Millions of households around the world need water from tanker trucks to live. Droughts, overexploitation, pollution, and lack of investment in infrastructure make this population grow by the day. It is an essential type of supply when all else fails, but it is often informal, unregulated, and without health guarantees. We must consider this so that this solution is fair for everyone and does not jeopardize the future of access to water.
In many rural communities in El Salvador, poor governance, industrial overexploitation, and pollution leave them without access to water. The short film Private Waters, a finalist of the fifth edition of the We Art Water Film Festival, shows how the El Rodeo community has organized itself to guarantee its survival and health.
The climate crisis is creating severe problems in Cameroon. Desertification and floods generate thousands of displaced people every year who end up in cities unable to provide drinking water for all. The short film Mami Wata, a micro-documentary finalist at the We Art Water Film Festival 5, provides a testimony of the vulnerability of millions of Cameroonians who survive in one of the most water-deficient African countries.
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