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Water News and Reports

Smartbuilding: water will outline our buildings

The construction of buildings and cities cannot manage without water. The Smartwater initiative moves forward and expands towards the smart building industry: the Smartwater, Smartbuilding sessions. The We Are Water Foundation gathered leading experts from the world of architecture and design in Mexico City with the aim of presenting and sharing ideas to foster a debate that can be passed on to society as a whole.

Water makes us smart

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.

When there is no power without water

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.

Small reservoirs, a chance for life

In India, the enormous challenge of achieving the sustainable growth of a country that in a few years will be the most populated in the world, should be based on avoiding the ruin of small farmers, empowering them to fight drought, the degradation of the land, single-crop farming and social imbalance. The construction of small self-managed reservoirs brings life to the most impoverished farmers and is a development model to be followed in semiarid regions.

The water footprint: water’s invisible trade

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.

Water first, and the smarter the better

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.

Nature does it better, but it has a limit

Nature shows us that the solutions to the severe hydric and environmental challenges we face involve respecting and observing the water cycle and harmonizing with it. The first step to achieve this is to understand its importance in life, its vulnerability and to recognize how we are altering it. “The answer is in nature” is the theme of World Water Day this year; if we want nature to remain our teacher, then we must take care of it before it’s too late.  

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