Global Water Problems
Lack of Access to Water Data and Actionable Information
Negative impacts of prolonged and periodic droughts, water use inefficiency and growing populations continue to threaten many municipal water supplies (especially in arid western cities), putting their future growth and prosperity in jeopardy. Consumers (e.g., homeowners, commercial users and agricultural users), many of whom are aware of the problem, do not have the information necessary to be part of the solution.
How can we provide real time access to water quantity and quality data to better inform business, public policy and consumer/customer decisions (from retail to consumer level)?
Water Management Systems Lack Flexibility and Transparency
Water supply, water rights and water law determine how we manage and allocate water. Our current systems are slow and lack complete transparency. Can we create a frictionless system encouraging and facilitating water rights trading? How can we ensure long-term sufficient water supply to meet agriculture, municipal and environmental needs when in many instances water is a property right?
Water Contamination and Declining Quality
A safe and reliable supply of water is a critical public health issue. Assuring water quality will require multi-faceted approaches, including appropriate infrastructure, treatment and water source protection. Aging water and wastewater infrastructure pose an environmental and public health threat. Moreover, the release of contaminants into our water supply can cause injury that is extremely costly to remedy. Source water protection can alleviate the need for costly treatment and ensure environmental stewardship. How can a community reduce and eliminate surface and groundwater pollution in a cost effective manner with reduced environmental and social impacts?
Water quality is declining, globally; how might we improve water quality from non-point sources (agriculture) and point sources (specific discharges); how do we best manage storm water?
Science keeps improving, and we know more and more about the quality of our water, yet we lack the systems to address new and growing concerns. How can water providers keep up?