70 percent of the earth’s surface is covered by water, yet only three percent is suitable for human consumption. Water shortage, which may be caused by pollution, overuse, wastage, or climate change leading to droughts or floods, is an increasing challenge, affecting nearly 27 percent of the world’s population. Water levels in America’s largest aquifer have dropped by over 30 percent in recent years. By 2030, the world will have only 60 percent of the fresh water it needs.
The Drought in California
Since 2012, California has been experiencing a crippling drought—one which has cost the state’s economy close to $2.7 billion. Lack of rain and snowfall has dried up the Colorado River that supplies water to California and seven other states. Today, the drought continues to leave a path of destruction in its wake—producing wild fires, destroying wildlife, and causing economic losses.
Pressure from Outside Industries
Outside industries like oil refineries can have a large impact on both the quality and availability of water in various areas. Millions of gallons of water every day are pumped into refineries, taking a toll on the aquifers of the area. These refineries reduce the amount of drinking water available as they go through the refinery process. Lack of water combined with a resource being quickly consumed means less drinking water for the surrounding communities that’s safe for all involved.
SUEZ is committed to overcoming the challenges of water scarcity through water recycling and wastewater treatment services. Our state of the art facilities allow our partners access to technology and expertise in helping produce and reuse clean, safe drinking water. We have helped build wastewater recycling plants globally and will help design and build up to date treatment facilities to improve the quality of drinking water in these communities.
We are also working on desalination processes for water scarcity in order to help turn our sea water into usable drinking water. Private water companies are investing in their systems and more sophisticated testing technology to make a difference in our water options today and for years to come. As sustainable solutions such as water reuse and desalination become more widespread, we will work to ensure that treated water and its byproducts are safe for the environment.