Sustainable water management practices: a pathway to water savings

20 February 2024

Sustainable water management among the goals of the 2030 Agenda

Goal 6 of the United Nations' 2030 Agenda aims to ensure the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. This ambitious goal calls for universal access to safe and potable water sources, a key objective for public health, sustainable development and social stability. However, there are significant obstacles to achieving this goal, including inadequate infrastructure, inefficiencies in water management and economic disparities that limit access to water in many parts of the world. Drinking water, theoretically abundant for all, becomes a scarce resource because of these factors.

To effectively contribute to sustainable water management, it is critical to take a holistic approach that includes technological innovation, conservation policies, improvement of existing infrastructure, and an ongoing commitment to equitable economic and social practices. This means not only investing in advanced water treatment and distribution technologies, but also promoting public awareness of the importance of water conservation and the adoption of sustainable behaviors at the individual and community levels.


Strategies and techniques essential for water conservation

Preserving and conserving water is the first essential step in ensuring that future generations will be able to enjoy this precious and indispensable commodity. Essential water conservation strategies include:

  • Optimizing water networks to reduce leakage: improving water distribution infrastructure is necessary to identify and repair leaks. In fact, it is estimated that in Italy about 40 percent of water is lost during the distribution process.
  • Rainwater harvesting and recycling: the implementation of systems to collect rainwater from roofs and impermeable surfaces, which can then be stored and used for non-potable purposes such as irrigation, allows the supply of water for industrial and human consumption. In numerical terms, the amount of water that can be recovered varies: for one square meter of collection area, about 1 liter of water can theoretically be collected for every millimeter of rainfall. Considering the average annual rainfall in a region and the available collective collection area, the potential volume of recoverable water can reach several thousand cubic meters per year for large complexes or urban areas.
  • Grey water reuse: treatment and recycling of water from sinks, showers, and washing machines can be recycled for non potable uses such as irrigation and drains, largely reducing demand on potable water resources.
  • Desalination plants: the use of mobile plants to convert seawater to fresh water provides a vital source of drinking water. These technologies are now indispensable in the growing number of areas affected by severe water scarcity.
  • Advanced wastewater treatment technologies: the development and implementation of more effective and efficient wastewater treatment methods allows water to be recycled for various uses, including replenishing groundwater.
  • Impervious surface management: developing solutions to manage the impacts of impervious surfaces, such as installing permeable pavements, creating urban green spaces, and designing sustainable urban drainage systems are some practices that help reduce surface runoff, promote infiltration of water into the ground, and contribute to groundwater recharge and flood prevention.
  • Integrated water resources management: a holistic approach to water management that considers the interaction between freshwater, land and oceans, and promotes sustainable water use through planning and cooperation among different sectors and users. Indeed, it is essential to consider the entire process of water resource consumption.
  • Efficient irrigation: irrigation is one of the most water-intensive activities in the agricultural sector, underscoring the critical importance of implementing water-saving techniques to conserve this vital resource. The use of advanced and controlled irrigation systems is a key strategy.


Promoting sustainable water policies at local and national levels

The effectiveness of integrating advanced techniques for conservation and sustainable water management, while critical, is incomplete without a parallel commitment to environmental education and co-responsibility among government agencies, businesses and citizen communities. The promulgation of sustainable policies at the local and national levels plays a critical role in ensuring the wise use and management of water resources. This commitment can be manifested through the adoption of regulations that encourage water conservation, protection of water supplies and the implementation of environmentally friendly practices. Equally important is activism aimed at influencing policy: capable of stimulating meaningful change in the management of water resources.

The responsibility for sustainable water management is a collective one; only through joint efforts will it be possible to achieve Goal 6 of the United Nations 2030 Agenda. 
At IDRO Group, we are relentlessly committed to promoting sustainable water use through the development and implementation of innovative and efficient technologies. We support public and private initiatives and work with companies and organizations to promote concrete awareness and commitment to protect this essential resource. Our mission is to act as a catalyst for change, leading the transition to responsible and sustainable water practices for a future where water is accessible and clean for all. 

Contact us to find out how IDRO Group's innovative solutions can transform water management in your community or organization.

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