Building a water-secure world one drop at a time
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Andy Clevenger 
Principal - VP, Global Technical Lead for Water and Wastewater 

Imagine the burden of walking six kilometres each day just to collect the most basic necessity for life – water.

Across the globe, millions of people face this reality, living without access to a clean, sustainable water supply.

The global demand for water is increasing at a faster rate than supply. Climate change, population growth, pollution, drought and overuse of water are putting growing pressure on the world’s water resources. Water scarcity affects more than 40% of the global population and is projected to rise. According to the United Nations, currently, more than two billion people are living with the risk of reduced access to freshwater resources and by 2050, at least one in four people is likely to live in a country affected by chronic or recurring shortages of fresh water.

Rethinking the blueprint

To improve water resource availability, long-term investment in resilient and sustainable water infrastructure and management of freshwater resources is required. At Wood, we harness cutting-edge technologies to develop renewal options to upgrade and expand water infrastructure, ensuring that it can withstand future environmental stresses, to help communities establish and maintain a supply of water for the long term.

In a water-scarce community in India with prevalent generation of wastewater and other pollutants, we developed a recycling system to help mitigate the challenge. Our team developed an innovative approach to biological nutrient removal in combination with ultrafiltration membranes and reverse osmosis to design a recycling system with more than 92% water recovery, exceeding quality requirements and allowing an increase in production of potable water for reuse.

Planning for tomorrow

With intense pressure on all aspects of water, including limited budgets, water must be managed in its entirety if it is to be managed effectively. Our integrated approach allows communities and businesses to meet the urgent demands of the present while effectively planning to meet the equally essential needs of future generations. Creating this balance is critical to sustainable development. In response to the UN Sustainable Development Global Goal 6, which aims to achieve universal and equitable access to clean water for all, we have been working with the 2030 Water Resources Group to perform analyses to support the business case for sustainable water resource management in Tanzania, Peru, Mexico and Mongolia.

In Peru, we worked to redefine water management, aiming to improve availability and secure supplies for both the general population and area industry. Although Peru has sufficient rainfall, 98% of the run-off in the country flows to the east of the Andes into the Amazon region with only 2% flowing west into the arid Coastal region where most of the country’s population lives. Rapid urbanisation and increased economic growth are placing stress on the region’s limited water supply.

In response, we performed a targeted hydro-economic analysis of the situation and provided a strategic roadmap to address Peru’s challenges. This project provided the opportunity to raise awareness of water issues. Individuals were mobilized from the private sector to engage in activities to improve water resources management to close the gap between projected water demand and a sustainable supply.

Changing the future of water

Using sustainable planning and emerging technologies, our generation can end the global water crisis. At Wood, we are leveraging the knowledge, experience and technical expertise of our people to solve water security issues, bringing clean and accessible water to communities around the world. By pushing the boundaries of ingenuity and exploring new possibilities, we can create a water-secure future.

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