Water shortages in many Venezuelan cities are worsened by power cuts and the deterioration of public services, especially affecting the poorest neighborhoods. Most of their inhabitants fight every day to obtain water outside the cities with the serious risks it entails. Others have been implementing a water survival strategy for decades. This is featured in the short film La camisa sucia (The stained shirt), finalist of the We Art Water Film Festival 3.
Water News and Reports
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.
The unstoppable exponential growth of cities will turn us into an eminently urban species in a few decades. For life on Earth to be sustainable cities also need to be so, and this will not be possible without the smart technologies integrated in circular economy. Their implementation is a great challenge for poor economies, which are most overwhelmed by urban growth and are not able to supply water and sanitation. This needs to be an international responsibility because what happens in these cities will be decisive for life on Earth.
Will the current growth model allow a fair access to water and sanitation in Latin America? The sociologist José Esteban Castro presented the conclusions of his decades of work on the water issues in disadvantaged areas of the world in the last talk of the series “Water and metropolis”, organized by the We Are Water Foundation and Casa Amèrica Catalunya.
In many of the poorest areas of the world the usage rate of mobile telephones is higher than the water access rate. Various emerging projects offer simple and sustainable technological tools based on the GSM which adapt to the basic needs of areas with hydric stress. These are real ICTs in which people replace sensors and become operating agents in places where there are none.
We need to start thinking more about how we interact with water instead of how we control it. The most developed countries are designing an intelligent water network that is able to control the supply problems and prevent natural disasters. But the solution based on a model that is exclusively technological is not the right one and it can increase the already existing barriers for those who do not even have water.
Water is not affordable for everyone and it should be. It is a human right that many poor people (in the economic sense) do not have. It is difficult to believe that in our neighbourhood there might be water cut-offs; but they do exist, although sometimes they are invisible.
We need to face this fact: water is too scarce to use it only once. It is a resource that will become increasingly difficult to obtain due to over-exploitation and climate change. Its reuse will be more and more necessary if we want everyone on the Earth to have access to it.
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