Global water topic #3: consumption patterns

Many 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, Saur's CEO Patrick Blethon shares his vision on the water challenges the world is facing. In the previous episode, he discussed contamination and resource recovery. The third challenge Blethon sees is the way we use water today.

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Topic #3: Consumption patterns

'Human consumption and industrial use hugely impact the availability and quality of water, not just locally, but globally. Here, too, the data are confronting. Our use of water worldwide has been steadily rising by about 1% every year since the 1980s. Between now and 2050, it is estimated that demand for water will increase by another 20 to 30%.'

The value of water is at stake

‘What is at stake is the value of water. Mankind has not appreciated its value enough: too often, we treat it as a cheap, disposable resource, forgetting to care for the balance of water in terms of both quantity and quality. As a result, many people and ecosystems in many parts of the world, especially in the least developed countries, face severe and recurring water stress. What is needed is that we embrace and learn to measure the true value of water, and integrate that in our policies and decisions.’

New consumption patterns

'At Saur, we envision a world in which water receives the value it deserves on our planet, and where that value is equally available to all living things reliant on it. We want to be a voice for water, to lead and unite all stakeholders in investing in its preservation, and in the development of new models for sustainably managing this precious resource for future generations. Exploring and incentivizing new consumption patterns based on the principles of reduce, reuse, recover across all user groups is a vital part of that.’

Building the 21st century on water

‘I am convinced that the three issues we have discussed in this Mission Water mini-series - climate change, contamination, and consumption patterns - will dominate the water agenda in the years ahead. It is important that we raise awareness of them, so that as many people and organizations as possible can help us to tackle them. The 21st century will be built on water.’