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Cooperation to tackle water Scarcity



While 70% of our globe is covered by water, a mere 3% of the world's total water supply is freshwater, crucial for drinking, bathing, and agricultural irrigation. Unfortunately, there are currently 1.1 billion people without access to clean water, and 2.4 billion face sanitation challenges, leading to increased susceptibility to water-borne diseases. Therefore, an integrated approach is imperative to manage this scarce resource effectively. Such measures are essential not only for sustaining a growing population but also for enhancing resilience against the impacts of climate change.


MAXIMIZING GROUNDWATER

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), approximately 96 percent of the remaining 1 percent of freshwater is found in groundwater, excluding the frozen 2% at the poles or in glaciers. This vast underground resource, estimated to be 60 times greater than the amount of fresh surface water from lakes and rivers, illustrates a significant part of the solution to the escalating water scarcity crisis. As global population growth intensifies the strain on natural water supplies focusing on exploring, protecting, and sustainably utilizing groundwater becomes crucial for survival, adaptation to climate change, and meeting increasing demand. Effective integrated management demands ample data, a vital element for enhancing monitoring systems. Unfortunately, many nations also lack well-developed water monitoring systems, hindering the implementation of comprehensive water resource management. Addressing this gap by establishing robust monitoring systems and ensuring sufficient data availability is essential for striking a balance between the needs of communities and the broader economy, especially during periods of water scarcity.


A CASE STUDY OF CENTRALIZING DATA ON GROUNDWATER SPOTS

In Thailand, where inadequate groundwater information and negligent handling by authorities pose challenges to access clean water, a noteworthy sustainable water energy initiative has emerged. The Department of Groundwater Resources and BRANDi collaborated to develop a sustainable water strategy. In the short term, we have collected groundwater location data across Thailand and implemented digital solutions for easier water access. Transitioning to differentiating between potable and non-potable water in the mid-term, we collaborated with the government to establish the Pracharaksa Groundwater College. This initiative aimed to educate and license the private sector for groundwater drilling, ensuring increase the accessibility in the long term. As a result, the Department of Groundwater Resources has enabled local representatives the ability to drill portable water, making groundwater more readily available to the Thai population nationwide.


A pivotal aspect of resilience and sustainability involves maximizing the use of scarce essential resources. The business sector, recognizing its role in this pursuit, should integrate planet protection into its strategic positioning. This calls for collaborative efforts to accelerate processes and pursue transformative outcomes.

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