Thinking about water means thinking about the future: to be better preserved and managed

The water crisis is increasingly a decisive theme: all the news and options that have emerged at the World Economic Forum among the 2.700 leaders of 130 countries

water: absence of water in the desert
No water in the desert (Photo: iStock Photos)

Il future of water, but above all of the world: there is all this and much more in the topics addressed at World Economic Forum of Davos, Switzerland.

A place to meet and debate where the world's greats took stock of the global situation, but above all discussed new techniques and approaches related to sustainability and the management of natural resources, but also to sustainable integration between human activity and the environment (think for example of the fishingtourism).

The crisis linked to the pandemic is finally starting to recede, but the global challenges to be faced remain many. In particular those related to the climate and the need to pursue new models with long-term effects and the result of international cooperation.

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water: a hand touches the water
A hand touches the water (Photo: iStock Photos)

The debate on water (and not only) at the World Economic Forum 2023

At a time when fragmentation seems inevitable, the World Economic Forum 2023 aims to achieve a globalization that is sustainable. There environmental transition it has now begun and what is needed are timely, coherent and rapid responses that are supported by governments.

THE2023 edition saw – for the first time since 2020 – the participation of numerous influential personalities. More than 450 leaders from more than 2700 countries took turns in the 130 panels, including 57 finance ministers, 52 heads of state and 17 central bankers. The topics addressed?

Economy, health, environment and safety. Among the most urgent topics are energy resources and their management, but above all the need to speed up the energy transition which still appears rather slow.

Among the most urgent issues to be addressed is undoubtedly that linked to water management. In a context marked increasingly by the climate crisis, it is essential to guarantee the supply of this precious commodity.

Some time ago the World Economic Forum announced the creation of a commission made up of scientists, economists, politicians and leaders with the aim of studying governance models aimed at protecting and managing water resources.

For centuries fresh water has been considered a free resource, but climate change currently requires a change of course starting from a more responsible and resilient management.

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Water: Steel water paddle wheel on Glatt in Switzerland (Photo: EMPA)
Steel water paddle wheel on the Glatt in Switzerland
(Photo: EMPA)

Blue Gold and atmospheric changes: hypotheses in the field

Lo water stress it is in fact a reality with which – unfortunately – we are increasingly coming to terms with. A situation caused by climate change that has involved many areas of the globe. Let's think, for example, of the Horn of Africa region, hit by the most severe drought in the last forty years or of the United States where the lack of water has already caused enormous damage to the economy and to people's health.

Not only that, they go along with drought floods and floods which have affected many areas of Central Europe, India and Bangladesh. A situation aggravated by increasingly aggressive deforestation that has destroyed tropical forests, creating a dangerous domino effect involving rains.

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Water - a water tap
A water tap (Photo: iStock Photos)

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It is extreme and disastrous climatic events with which, unfortunately, we will have to deal more and more in the future, thanks to the increase in global temperature. Not only an environmental issue, but also an economic one if we think that, as highlighted by some studies, the shortage of Blue Gold by 2050 could cost some countries up to 6 percent of their annual GDP.

What are the possible solutions? The options under consideration they are numerous. First of all, the possibility of paying some countries, such as Indonesia, Congo or Brazil, for the protection of forests that favor rainfall or by compensating countries where the water is used to grow food which is then exported.

Lights also focused on agriculture, where for some years innovative irrigation systems powered by renewable energy have been developed for a sustainable production and high yield.

There are also useful applications for monitoring humidity, wind and soil temperature, in order to calibrate the use of water.

Even industries today are increasingly directed towards a conscious use of water, rationalizing the water cycle with innovations aimed at saving, cleaning, treating and disinfecting waste water.

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Water: hands collect water from a waterfall
Hands collect water from a waterfall (Photo: iStockPhotos)