As the population of the world’s cities grows, so too does resource and energy use as well as waste generation. We can combat these issues with a circular economy that uses nature as a template.
With partnerships between landowners, the government and businesses, South Africa can invest in its wetlands and boost the country's potable water reserves.
The enthusiasm for recycling water that Australians had at the height of the drought little more than a decade ago has waned.
Cities relied entirely on conserving and recycling water to get through the last big drought. We now have desalination plants, but getting the most out of our water reserves still makes sense.
Chemicals poured down the sink or pumped into the atmosphere can eventually end up in the groundwater, which means less available fresh water for us to use.
While making small volumes of pure water in a lab is possible, it’s not practical. The reaction is expensive, releases lots of energy, and can cause really massive explosions.
Glenn R. Specht-grs photo/Shutterstock
Experiments into the effectiveness of conservation can help us learn what works best.
Water researchers (like Dr Mary Lundeba and Esther Lee, pictured here at work in Zambia) need more support.
African governments must focus on developing and supporting highly-skilled water professionals.
Cape Town is doing an outstanding job of managing residential water use.
There is an increasing demand for water in cities like Cape Town. The current drought exacerbates this. But there are ways to use and save water sustainably.
Lake Powell, photographed April 12, 2017. The white ‘bathtub ring’ at the cliff base indicates how much higher the lake reached at its peak, nearly 100 feet above the current level.
The Colorado River supplies water to millions of people and irrigates thousands of miles of farmland. New research warns that climate change is likely to magnify droughts in the Colorado Basin.
Barkindji protest outside Parliament in Canberra.
For the Barkindji people, the Darling River has been a symbol of Aboriginal survival since colonial times. Now, the once busy NSW town of Wilcannia is in danger of losing its water.
Silver Lake, Wasatch watershed, Utah.
With a future of droughts looming for the US West, Utah’s Wasatch watershed offers a good model that combines conservation with nature-based recreation.
The Murray-Darling: a complex river system with a complex set of regulations to match.
AAP Image/Caroline Duncan Photography
Water isn't straightforward. And by putting the Nationals in charge of policy for water assets like the Murray-Darling Basin, the government will trigger a complex round of bureaucratic musical chairs.