Water is one of the most essential necessities of life; and yet, the tragedy is that those of us who have free access to water fail to realize its importance. On the other hand, the people who are directly impacted by the water crisis, suffer. People who live in areas with an ample supply of water may think that its supply is infinite.
However, clean drinking water is really precious in the present world where water has been polluted by industrial establishments and other wastes generated by the rising human population. Therefore, we must understand that the water crisis is much more acute than we think it is. To prove this point further, let us consider some facts.
We Are Living in a Thirsty World
According to statistics, around 844 million people lack access to clean water globally. Those most affected by this shortage are young children— who are more vulnerable to diseases due to the consumption of dirty water— and women and girls who bear the task of carrying water from distant sources to their homes. Approximately, they spend 200 million hours hauling water every day. Furthermore, it has been estimated that by 2050, at least one in every 5 people would be living in a country that has an acute freshwater shortage.
If these numbers weren’t frightening enough, serious water conflicts are common between countries and even territories. Due to the mismanagement of water in Yemen, people suffer from a lack of drinking water which has resulted in several political conflicts in the war-torn country.
Other than this, a striking example of tensions resulting from water mismanagement is that of the conflict between Turkey, Syria, and Iraq over Euphrates-Tigris water. Most of the irrigation plans in the basin have proved to be useless and the tension between these nations continues. As a result, an effective water management plan has not yet been conceived properly, although cooperation efforts have accelerated since the 2000s.
The statistics and examples cited above reveal that not only is water shortage acute across the globe, but it is also the reason behind conflicts between and within countries. The greatest suffering is bequeathed to the people who live through troubled times without proper drinking water facilities.
How Can Blockchain Help in Better Water Management?
Although water is a transparent liquid in its clean form, the water management practiced in many countries is unclear and muddy. Often, centralized water management is prone to corruption and vested interests. This results in the poorer and marginalized populations being denied access to water.
Blockchain is capable of solving this problem on two accounts— since it is transparent, it shall eliminate corruption in water supply management and because of its distributed nature, it shall be within the reach of all.
Already in Hong Kong, a water company called WATERIG, is developing collection points that store rainwater. The platform is decentralized in nature and thus, connects water processing systems and distribution. It allows different communities to decide their best mode of action and then use blockchain to crowdfund their own water hubs.
We have already seen how conflicts between countries over water basins result in mismanagement. Blockchain technology can support peer-to-peer trading of water rights in disputed basins, giving greater power in the hands of actual users and thus reducing the role of a centralized authority. Thus, the true solution to solving water disputes lies in democratizing water. And this can be effectively carried out using blockchain.
Power Ledger is a blockchain company based in Australia which is working with the city of Fremantle in Australia for creating a blockchain trading system that leverages smart water metering data.
Conclusion: Noble Steps Towards a Better Future
With a huge population of the world suffering from a water crisis as a result of either shortage of water or poor water management, it is imperative that a solution is reached that helps in effectively tackling the situation. Blockchain, with its high flexibility and great potential, has time and again proved itself to be one such solution.
Keeping this in mind, Expanse generates opportunities to materialize this technology into smart practical solutions. It allows the creation of dApps for a wide spectrum of industries and ensures that the project takes shape effectively and smoothly. With its high scalability, it is best suited for creating a solution to a problem that is closest to humanity.