Shift to circular water economy holds much promise
For decades, people have been using fresh water faster than nature can replace it, contributing in some regions to hunger, disease, conflict and migration.
This is according to a report released by the United Nations in an effort to raise awareness about water security around the globe.
“Water scarcity affects the economy, society, and the environment,” he continued.
Circular water economy In the water sector, a circular economy approach will mean reusing water constantly, imitating the way the natural water cycle works, Erdmann said.
He explained that the circular economy approach offers promising new perspectives to develop a social and economic dynamic, where population and economic growth are balanced with environmental protection.
“During his research, he found that a leaking toilet can waste anything between 20 to 700 litres of water a day,” Erdmann said.
Erdmann feels that we no longer have a choice as we are pushed towards the circular model on a daily basis due to the increasing scarcity and pollution of natural resources.
“In order to achieve this, we need to change our thinking and address these issues collaboratively.” Having seen how the circular economy model has benefitted the South African economy and essentially dealt with the waste tyre problem, Erdmann believes the shift to a circular water economy holds much promise.
“A circular water economy might even eliminate rapidly growing clean-up costs because no harmful substances would be added to the water supply,” he said.
“If we do not act now, by 2050 at least one in four people are likely to live in a country affected by chronic or recurring shortages of fresh water – a harsh reality to live with.”