“The world has run out of time”

This stark warning has been issued by Piers Clark, chairman of technology consultancy Isle, following the publication of the IPCC report which found the global water crisis will continue to intensify with climate breakdown.

This stark warning has been issued by Piers Clark, chairman of technology consultancy Isle, following the publication of the IPCC report which found the global water crisis will continue to intensify with climate breakdown.

The report addresses the most up to date understanding of the climate system and brings together the latest advances in climate science. The findings were “brutally stark” explained Clark at the latest Water Action Platform webinar on Thursday, 26 August.

“You would have to have been living under a rock for the past six weeks not to have heard about the recent IPCC report on the climate crisis.” said Dr Piers Clark.

“The world has run out of time to act. To avoid a climate crisis the world must act NOW, we cannot delay. COP26 will be held later this year in the UK but many are not confident that politicians fully own this issue. There is a sense of hopelessness many of us feel when faced with these stark warnings about the climate- what can we as individuals do?”

Significant role 

The water sector has a significant role to play in tackling this issue, explained Clark. As an industry which utilises significant amounts of energy in treating and pumping water, there is also great potential to create a positive environmental impact, whether from generating energy from bioresources to building floating solar arrays on reservoirs. 

The sector must lead the way in resolving this important global challenge and it is vital the importance of water, and the work being undertaken by the global sector to protect it, is communicated to the public in an open and transparent way.

Make water famous

Clark revealed a first glimpse of the not-for-profit Make Water Famous initiative – a public-facing multimedia positive news platform, exclusively about water. It will be staffed by former national and regional journalists with extensive experience in the water sector communications and campaigns.

“The value of a news service is that it drops the jargon, does away with the politics and gets straight to the heart of the issue – namely that water deserves to be celebrated and cherished…in fact, it deserves to be famous,” said Clark.

The Make Water Famous website goes live on September 15. To find out more about how your organisation can get involved, please contact natasha@makewaterfamous.com.

Transformation in desalination

This month’s featured technology was from UK company Agua Via, which has developed a one-atomic-layer thick membrane that will dramatically shift the cost of desalination. The company is in the final stages of securing significant funding, enabling the final stage of product development, with roll out in the next 30 months in partnership with leading organisations in the water sector.

Agua Via chief executive Stephen Howard said “This is a transformative technology. It will cut capital costs and cut energy use – which contributes to the reduction of global greenhouse gases.” 

It has been described as the most ‘atomically precise material ever built’ by the US Department of Energy and is inspired by biological design of the human kidney. 

 Global Innovation Challenge

Dr Gurdev Singh, deputy director of the technology department at Singapore’s national water agency – PUB, was this month’s sector expert. He is leading PUB’s Global Innovation Challenge (GIC). The initiative was initially launched in 2020 at the height of the pandemic and was intended to keep the global innovation community connected. 

“The GIC is a way for us to source game-changing ideas and disruptive innovations across a range of sectors and try to bring those into the water sector,” Singh explained. 

To find out more about the 2021 challenges, highlights from the programme and how to get involved, please visit www.pub.gov.sg/innovationchallenge 

Hosted by global technology and business consultancy Isle, the Water Action Platform is a global initiative that brings water companies together to share knowledge and innovation across the world.

The next Water Action Platform webinar takes place on Thursday 23 September at 7.30am and 4.30pm BST. Click here to sign up to receive the invitation. To find out more> https://www.wateractionplatform.com/contact

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