The BBC Online has recently published an article on the issues related to impending global fresh water deficit. Tim Smedely (12th April 2017) has highlighted that the earth is running out of water. Factors such as increased temperatures and unchecked population growth pose a serious threat to this vital resource. He discusses some of the ways that business and government are improving water efficiencies and states the urgency of the issue.
You can read the full BBC article here.
SkyJuice is most concerned about how this dire future problem will affect the largest and poorest socio-economic population groups in the world. These groups are the Base of the Pyramid (BOP) communities. Four billion low-income people, living on less than $2 per day, a majority of the world’s population, constitute the BOP communities. BOP is not shrinking and remains a growing global issue of social and economic inequity
There is a widely held view that these BOP communities suffer a significant penalty in access to safe drinking water. More specifically:
- The ratio of mid-market households to BOP households with access to piped water is 6:1 or higher i.e., the poor have less opportunity to access safe water.
- Access to public standpipes reflects a similar pattern—significantly lowers access in the BOP than in the mid market. While BOP households are more likely to use surface water and less likely to have access to piped water, a third alternative, especially in peri-urban areas, is to buy from mobile water vendors. This option typically involves a significant price penalty. One study showed that in eight major cities water vendors charge prices 8–16 times the public utilities water price.
- Another study, covering 47 countries, found that mobile distributors such as tanker trucks charge unit prices up 10 times the price of piped water (utility supply).
This all points to be fact that we need to provide low cost technology options to harvest all available water for potable water. Currently, poor surface waters are not considered as suitable to treat and drink. We are already witnessing limited access to bores, springs and dam water. Global warming will further add to the dilemma. Communities will need a portfolio of options at their disposal to meet the problem head on.
How will further limitations to water supply affect the BOP communities? We believe innovative solutions such as our Safe Water Kiosks can dramatically impact safe water access, sustainability and affordability in developing countries! It is one string on the bow of a multi-facetted approach to address this issue. We have part of the solution; we just need support to roll them out.