By Ravichandran Purushothaman, President, Danfoss India
According to the UN, more than 40 percent of the world’s population lives in regions where water is becoming increasingly scarce, and that figure is likely to rise. The reality is that as economies develop and populations grow, so does the demand for resources like fresh water, land, and energy.
Water shortages in India have been addressed by policymakers by looking at newer and more creative supply options, such as lakes, groundwater, and desalination plants. While these solutions must be part of a plan to tackle critical water crises, the first step should be to look at simple solutions that can help us save water.
Around 30% of current water losses around the globe are caused by leaky pipes, which underscores the need to limit water leakages to save water and reduce energy use. Unnecessary high pressure in the pipes also means that an avoidably high amount of water is pushed out during the leaks. By introducing intelligent pressure management, we can reduce pressure by 38% and minimize leaks. In this way, we can reduce water loss by 40% and energy consumption by 20-40%.
Reducing food loss and waste also holds potential for preserving our water resources. Optimizing yields at the harvest level, through modern machinery and maintaining temperatures to reduce losses across the entire supply chain, must be part of a strategy to tackle the water-energy-food nexus. If we create significant reductions in food loss, food producers will be able to provide more value while using less energy to power farming equipment, less water for irrigating crops, and deforesting less land for new farms.
Thus, an integrated approach to the water-energy-food nexus allows us to unlock the enormous opportunities for resource efficiency and manage the complex interactions between water, energy, and food security. This World Water Day, a concerted effort to reimagine and reengineer our solutions to the water crisis, India and the world is currently facing, can ensure this elixir of life continues to provide for posterity. We must empower the world to do more with less.
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