Climate change, the #1 global water topic

Experts in politics and science warn that water shortages and water quality issues may cause widespread conflict in the near future. In this mini-series of three Mission Water Stories, our CEO Patrick Blethon shares his vision on the water challenges the world is facing. He looks at how organizations like Saur are mustering resources to forge better ways of managing this vulnerable, life-giving resource.

Saur mission nature 8
Topic#1: climate change and circularity

Risks and disruptions

‘Climate change is tipping the water balance dramatically, and in many different ways. It is causing more frequent floods and droughts, and placing immense pressure on water management. Scientific evidence supports this concern. The climate is changing, under the influence of human behavior, and will continue to change. And water is the main channel through which this change is affecting societies.’

UN data confirm this, showing how climate change will affect the availability, quality and quantity of water for basic human needs. It will potentially cut off billions of people from the human right to water and sanitation. Changes in the water temperature and water cycle - with more or less water available in different places at different times - will bring new risks. Think of disruptions in energy production, food security, human health, economic development and poverty reduction. Many ecosystems around the world, especially wetlands and forests, are also at risk.

A splash of optimism

'Over and against the ‘doom and gloom’ reports highlighting the many water-related risks brought on by climate change. Saur intends to offer offer an invigorating splash of optimism. ‘Yes, the challenges are immense, but so are human resilience and resourcefulness. Many efforts are being made to consider unconventional water resources for future use. Think of reusing water more, reclaiming it, or developing renewable energy-based desalination and purification technologies. Think of solutions such as fog water collection, or minimizing water pipe leakage. The range of possible solutions is dizzying. And what is also exciting is that pursuing these solutions will have huge spin-off effects in other areas of society: improved public health, more jobs and less poverty, and much more.’

Only together

'What’s important is that we work together across boundaries to identify and develop these answers to tomorrow’s problems. This is not just about water managers, or climate experts: it must involve everyone who cares about our future and our planet, from investors to consumers, from farmers to industries. We can only do the job together, contributing to a circular economy.’