Water shortages displayed with a farming hose lay across dry land that is ready to be watered. We can see plants in the background that are in need of watering.

6 billion people expected to experience water shortages.

22 May 2023

As the future draws closer, we are met with the reality of our actions. Everyday we learn that our current lifestyle is not going to be sustainable for much longer, natural resources are dwindling, irreversible damage is being done to the environment, and space is becoming limited. One of growing worries for many environmentalists, and people in the construction sector, is the scarcity of water and the fear of water shortages.

As our population grows, as our weather becomes more inconsistent, and natural disasters contaminate our waters, we are growing ever closer to a reality where water is a scarce product. According to the United Nations World Water Development Report, at least six billion people will experience water scarcity by 2050.

An outside tap dripping.

What does this mean for us?

We are facing a lot of issues currently that need to be addressed, and the reality is that a lot of them are going to lead to huge problems if they are left unattended. It is estimated that growing populations will lead to a 60% increase in food production by 2050. Notable increases in water requirements are predicted across agriculture, industry, and the energy industry. Simultaneously, water resources are shrinking.

It is a problem that is exacerbated by climate change. Climate change affects not only the availability of water, but also the quality of water supplies. Unpredictable rainfall patterns and drought immediately come to mind as climate issues affecting water scarcity. However, it is important to remember that rising water levels from ice melt, floods, and natural disasters have the effect of contaminating water supplies.

Problems for the construction industry

With all this in mind, we must acknowledge that we therefore have an issue coming for the construction industry. As we are expected to be the backbone of the countries housing needs, we will also be met with the growing pressure to reduce our water consumption.

The construction industry is already so heavily reliant on water, and we often must get large supplies of it to remote locations and barren sites. We are also then expected to create new water infrastructures for modern accommodations.

Builders discussing plans on a building site. One is in an orange high vis jacket whilst the other is in a yellow one.

What can we do about it?

Smart technologies have disrupted traditional water management methodologies through monitoring, analysis, and action around data, as well as modelling and digital twin capabilities. These technologies are low-cost and high impact, using data to optimise operations, devise areas of improvement, and monitor the effectiveness of strategic changes.

Smart water systems, like those available from Smarter Technologies Group, have many of the following features, which are fuelling sustainable change for industry.

Monitoring is the first step in understanding usage patterns, taking water-saving actions in the immediate term, and strategising for long-term change. This doesn’t require a costly overhaul of legacy systems. AMR smart water meters have retrofit capabilities that provide real-time metrics for simplified water management and sub-metering.

Water usage data can be monitored in real-time and stored through a system of cloud-based record-keeping, with scope for customised reporting that is aligned with objectives. This removes the need for manual readings and makes for accurate billing. It also creates a platform for more accurate forecasting, automation, modelling and digital twinning. This means more impactful strategising with minimal disruption to operations and quality of performance.

Eco Plant Hire equipment

Another solution for the industry is to move away from some of the older machines and products on the market. For example, you can get newer welfare units that make better use of water and have cleaner energy solutions.

Obviously, it can be very expensive to replace your equipment, but it is possible to rent out equipment to help supplement your older machines. Services like the ones offered here at PAL Hire, allows you to be able to hire out whatever equipment you need all over the country totally hassle free. Just let us know what you want, where you need it, and we will handle the rest.