Leadership lacking to solve crisis of 2.1 billion people without safe water
And these cities are not alone.
As global leaders head to the UN General Assembly this month, they can take lessons from cities across the globe that are using smart water technologies to address water scarcity now, and for the future.
Leaders and their associated water, health, and natural resource management organizations need to take advantage of advances in information technology and water related finance to improve sustainable water supply.
Digital technology, the related analytics of “internet of things,” and application of artificial intelligence to both interpret and apply data are game changers for improving knowledge of water supply and water use, while also reducing both water loss and costs.
San Francisco, for example, has applied digital technology, analytics, and artificial intelligence to detect and pinpoint waterline leaks far faster than using traditional water meters.
These reads have improved knowledge of where and how water is wasted.
Of course, cities, water utilities, and the financial community must develop innovative ways to finance information systems, technology, and water infrastructure.
While technology and finance are vital tools to meet safe water drinking needs, the most critical tool that global leaders and organizations can utilize is leadership itself.
Unless water utilities have effective leadership both at the top and throughout an organization, utilities will not successfully apply the significant advances made in water technology and finance.
As these organizations have shown, it is indeed possible to exhibit such a leadership and find innovative, public-private solutions to the global water crisis.