Drought and water stress, floods, the condition of aquatic environments, the condition of water and sanitation infrastructures - the acceleration of change at global scale is dramatically impacting water management everywhere. At the same time, global demand for water continues to increase by almost 1% a year, which is why the question of water security - i.e. the security of water supply - is now a major challenge right across the world.
All this calls for frugal management of these resources however they are used, to improve water usage effectiveness (for example, detecting and repairing leaks and faults) to push for the diversification of sources under acceptable conditions (rainwater, desalination, water recovered from atmosphere etc.), to extend the re-use of treated water, to accelerate the renewal of plants and networks and to better anticipate flood risk in order to mitigate the impacts.
Meanwhile, the question of water quality is also demanding greater attention. Thanks to advances in research, new forms of pollution are being identified at ever lower levels. This is particularly true of pollutants emanating from the pharmaceutical and cosmetic sectors (antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, analgesics, hormones etc.), PFAS substances (widely used in the 20th century for their anti-adhesive, impermeability and heat resistant properties), and micro- and nanoplastics.
To combat this, the water industry is continuing its process of digitisation, which is sparking numerous innovations throughout the value chain.