Water: what's next?

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So now that World Water Day has come and gone, what is on everyone's mind?  Water supply and climate change?

It is expected that globally there will be more precipitation, and that higher temperatures will tend to reduce run-off. As the patterns of precipitation and runoff change, rain in fewer, heavier bursts will lead to more floods and dry spells. This, combined with less ground water recharge, means that water storage is being touted as a means to smooth water consumption over periods of variability.

Water storage, whether surface water dams or aquifer recharge, is never without controversy.  To complement adding storage infrastructure to counter-act water variability, managing water quality will also become more and more important: i.e. increasing water re-use will 'create' additional water supply in drier areas.

Whereas water quality has been viewed as an "environmental issue" moreso in the past, it is hitting the radar screen as a "water supply" issue more and more. So, look to water storage and water quality to be companion solutions to water in the context of climate change, even if we are all still sorting out the specifics ....


Tracy Hart

Senior Environmental Specialist

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