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Celebrating World Water Day: promoting sustainable solutions

Updated: Mar 11

World Water Day

World Water Day sheds light on crucial water management and sustainability issues every year.

Today, 2.2 billion people live without safely managed drinking water. This includes 115 million people who drink surface water. About half of the global population experiences severe water scarcity for at least part of the year, with these numbers expected to increase due to climate change and population growth. This, in turn, puts additional pressure on our food supply. We are already using 74% of fresh water  for agriculture.

This is why World Water Day matters. Let’s unveil innovative solutions that address the pressing challenges to our freshwater resources.

The significance of World Water Day

World Water Day is a global call to action for sustainable water management. Observed annually on 22 March, this day serves as a critical reminder of the importance of freshwater conservation and sustainable water management. As climate change exacerbates water scarcity worldwide, raising awareness becomes critical.

The importance of freshwater conservation

 Freshwater conservation is especially important for various factors, including but not limited to:

  1. Limited resources: with only 3% of the Earth’s water being fresh water, our collective efforts to safeguard this precious resource are more crucial than ever.

  2. Life critical: it’s vital for our survival and ecosystem function.

  3. Water scarcity: many world regions already face water scarcity. This problem will only be exacerbated by population growth, urbanisation and climate change.

  4. Economic benefits: by reducing water waste and improving water efficiency, communities and industries can save on water and infrastructure costs while supporting local economics. Clean and safe freshwater access is a basic human right, providing social equity.

  5. Mitigate climate change: wetlands, rivers and lakes act as carbon sinks, which helps reduce the concentration of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere. These freshwater ecosystems also protect species diversity and maintain ecological balance.

Thus, to sustain life, support ecosystems, mitigate climate change, promote economic development, and ensure social equity, we must responsibly conserve and manage freshwater resources for today's and future generations.

The theme of World Water Day 2024

This year’s World Water Day theme focuses on leveraging water for peace. Conflicts can arise when water is scarce or polluted. Consider that of the 153 countries that share rivers, lakes and aquifers with their neighbours, only 24 have shared water cooperation agreements. Joint action is vital to fight against extreme weather events, support public health and prosperity, and ensure water's stability as a resource. 

There have been many water conflicts, especially more recently, which will only continue. Local, national and different water users (particularly in water and sanitation utilities, agriculture, power generation and industry) must cooperate through an integrated water resources management approach. By focusing on the various challenges to provide safe and accessible drinking water, we can better fulfil people’s human rights. 

Challenges in groundwater management

One of the key challenges in sustainable water management is groundwater quality. 

Some key issues are:

  1. Overexploitation and depletion: it’s often overexploited in arid and semi-arid regions for irrigation, domestic and industrial purposes.

  2. Water quality degradation: human and industrial activities contribute to groundwater pollution through waste disposal and chemicals like pesticides and herbicides.

  3. Climate change impact: studies show groundwater resources are rapidly depleting, like in India’s Lower Ganga River basin, which local communities depend on for survival.

Continuous monitoring of groundwater quality is essential to ensure its safety. As our CTO, Dr Luigino Grasso, states:

Luigino Grasso, CTO bNovate Technologies
Dr Luigino Grasso
“Urbanisation and the rising frequency of extreme weather events put even greater pressure on water resources, often resulting in disastrous effects on water quality due to increased microbial pollution. Continuous monitoring of the microbiological quality of the water from the catchment to the consumer is, therefore, critical to ensure its safety. Automated and online monitoring of microbiological parameters is a crucial development in the drinking water industry.”

With a comprehensive approach that integrates sustainable practices and efficient water use strategies, we can ensure the long-term viability of groundwater resources.

Innovative solutions: introducing BactoSense

At bNovate, we developed BactoSense – an innovative solution that combines flow cytometry technology with continuous, online monitoring of bacteria in water. Our eco-friendly innovation received the Solar Impulse Efficient Solution Label, highlighting its effectiveness in protecting the planet. 

Some key features of the new methods used in the management of groundwater includes:

  1. Real-time monitoring: flow cytometry  allows for immediate, real-time and online monitoring of microbial events in water from catchment to treatment processes. This helps detect regrowth after stagnation periods or due to long residence times (common problems in water distribution systems).

  2. Microbial fingerprinting: flow cytometry provides a typical microbial fingerprint of water from a specific origin. By enabling the quantification and monitoring of microbial communities’ abundance and composition, you can understand seasonal changes, pollution impacts and the effectiveness of groundwater disinfection measures.

  3. Modernity vs traditional methods: compared to conventional methods like heterotrophic plate counting (HPC), flow cytometric total cell counting (TCC) offers faster detection times (within minutes instead of days) and more accurate microbial abundance measurements. This allows for faster cleaning process solutions to ensure water quality.

  4. Early warning systems: technologies like BactoSense enable water professionals to monitor production processes and distribution networks continuously and thus detect any abnormal change, such as those mentioned in the European Union’s Drinking Water Directive.

  5. Sustainability concerns: consider the Lower Ganga River Basin issue in India. Flow cytometry can aid sustainable groundwater management by providing insights into microbial dynamics influenced by natural and operational events. This can help minimise groundwater depletion and is vital for large-scale irrigation. 

Thus, flow cytometry technology like BactoSense offers a transformative approach to groundwater management by providing rapid, accurate, real-time monitoring of microbial events. It can also enhance water quality assessment, support sustainable practices and enable proactive measures to challenge groundwater effectiveness.

Empowering sustainable practices with water sustainability technologies

Empowering sustainable practices through technologies like BactoSense is pivotal in mobilising change, promoting collaboration and advocating for water sustainability. By being committed to safe water, companies can leverage innovative water monitoring solutions to simplify complex analytical techniques and provide precise automated diagnostics. Ultimately, this empowers users to achieve economic, social and environmental goals effectively. 

Let’s set new standards for fast bacteria detection and push the boundaries in microbiological monitoring. Collaborating between partners and users helps drive global advancements in water sustainability practices. Integrating technology for sustainable groundwater management addresses global challenges by providing rapid and accurate monitoring solutions, contributing to mitigating the impacts of global change on our resources. 

This integrated approach is instrumental in driving positive change towards ensuring Safe Water. Anytime. Anywhere.


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