Though it's a worldwide entity, water is treated as a regional issue. There is no global market and very little international exchange.
Addressing environmental challenges will require public-private partnerships. Consider water, a poorly understood and often wasted and mismanaged resource. Our global agriculture system wastes an estimated 60% of the 2,500 trillion liters it uses each year. Municipalities lose as much as 50% of their water supply through leaky infrastructure. And there are nearly 53,000 different water agencies in the U.S. alone, each managing a short stretch of river or a handful of reservoirs. Despite the fact that water is a shared resource, there’s no coordination of data among these agencies and no holistic view of the entire water ecosystem, or its impact of human activity. – Source: Thoughts on Water Management from the Western Governor’s Association.
Water flows through everything – from the air, the land and our own bodies to the global economy. In fact, every time a good or service is bought or sold, there is a virtual exchange of water. It takes 700 gallons of water to make a cotton T-shirt; 2,000 gallons to make one gallon of milk; and 10,500 gallons to make a car. Though the total amount of water on this planet has never changed, the nature of that water is changing. Everything from where rain falls to the chemical makeup of the oceans is in flux. And these changes are forcing us to ask some very difficult questions about how and where we live and do business.
As water management issues continue to mount and costs continue to increase, information technology and collaborative innovation will play an instrumental role helping communities, businesses, and governments deal with the tremendous complexity ahead. The combination of volumes of data, the need for mining across different and new data types and the demand for real-time responses requires a new kind of water management intelligence and models that encompasses scalable, statistical algorithms, and massively parallel approaches.
Some links for those of you interested in water management