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Home>Topics>>Glen Daigger, President, International Water Association

Glen Daigger, President, International Water Association

Tue, 8 Jul 2014|

Glen Daigger discusses the major water challenges facing us globally and offers a three-point strategy for meeting these challenges head on.



[MUSIC] Hi, I'm Angela Godwin with WaterWorld Magazine. Joining me today is Glen Daigger. He is the current president of the International Water Association, and also a vice president and chief technology officer with CH2M HILL. Thank you so much for joining us today, we really appreciate it. Wanted to catch up with you. you, you have an interesting perspective and want to get your thoughts on what some of the major challenges are that are facing the water industry worldwide. So let me, I often articulate this as, as three things that the water profession needs to do They're three pretty big things, but, you know, people can kinda remember threes, right? So. The first is quite frankly about how the water profession needs to change how we approach water management. Mm-hm. If we continue to manage water as we have in the past, we are headed towards a situation where about a half of the, of the citizens of planet Earth live in, in locations of water stress. Mm-hm. Many people hear this, and they think this is a physical situation, but quite frankly, it's really just because of the way we have managed the water in the past, only had a lot smaller population, demanding less water. So quite frankly, there are solutions to this. There's absolutely no reason why this. Should it, should occur, but we have to change the way we manage water water. Mhm To be much more efficient in terms of water management. So that's the first, that's the first most challenge, but opportunity. ok Secondly, of course we live in a planet where most of the citizens of planet Earth do not have the benefits of. A a a a water and sanitation. Mm-hm. We hear different figures, but the true figures are are that about half of the human population lacks truly safe water. When it comes to appropriate wastewater management, about three out of four to. To four out of five lack appropriate waste management. Yep. So, again, this is, these are situations that we know how to deal with. But we need to get about doing that. Mm-hm. The third thing is as we do this, we need to become more resource efficient. Mm-hm. The good news is that there are many opportunities to. Extract water out of the used water cycle. But energy, nutrients, other materials and be much more resource efficient than, than we've been in the past. So, so change. Extend the, the human right to water and san, sanitation. And become more resource efficient. Challenges, but opportunities also to accomplish those things. Now on the, on the first one, where, where you're talking about, you know, changing the way we, we manage water. What's broken about the way that we manage it today? What's broken is that we, we think that we're going to meet our water needs by. Increasing water needs by getting more water out of the environment. The truth is that the water on planet Earth is already fully allocated. Meaning someone is already using it. So the way we're going to meet our future water needs are, first of all, through. Efficiency and conservation. Secondly through increased local water capture. Thirdly through reuse and then and then fourthly through things like desalinization if you're, you know, if you're on the coast. All of these things are being done. We have very good examples. Different, different places around the world. In the Us and around the wold so, that we know that assembling a portfolio of water supplies and not looking to our environment as our principal source. That again, we, we have the means to avoid water stress. But it's by these means. Not by looking for more water out of the environment. Mm-hm. Well Glen we really appreciate your time today and your insights. And thank you very much for joining us. Okay. Thank you. For Water World Magazine, I'm Angela Godman.