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Water Tight 3.0

The top issues in the global water sector

Water is our most precious resource. Its availability transcends political borders. While the challenge of increased demand for water is global, the issues must be solved on a local level by governments, businesses and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and domestic customers all working together. Water Tight 3.0 Report provides a comprehensive evaluation of the top issues in the global water sector.

The aim of this report is to highlight, for both public and private stakeholders, the issues that Deloitte’s global water practice regards as the most important for the water sector. Issues as complex as these are interconnected with each other and with other resource issues and should not be considered in isolation. Furthermore, sector challenges have been further exacerbated with the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic; this is thoughtfully discussed in the report.

An overview of the water topics discussed in the report.

  1. Growing Demand for a Limited Resource: Readily available fresh water and declining quality of water are threats that increase water scarcity, which are paramount to address
  2. Climate Change—A Future of Uncertainty: Climate change increases the risk of validity in water supply, thus making it impossible to rely solely on historical data for future planning
  3. Managing Demand—the Era of Low-Cost Water is Over: Pricing should reflect the issues of growing demand and diminishing supplies. Utilities should be able to recover the increasing costs of providing the service while investing in more efficient infrastructure
  4. Resource Efficiency: The water sector could benefit enormously from closer collaboration with technology providers to achieve sustainable water and effective water usage
  5. Integrated Thinking: An integrated approach to solving key issues between the water, energy and food sectors may also lead to lower carbon emissions while at the same time benefitting ecosystems
  6. New Sources of Financing: The private sector is expected to take a more active role in the global water industry, not only in terms of managing assets on behalf of the state, but also in owning and financing the assets
  7. COVID-19: An Urgent Call for Disaster Risk and Management for Resiliency: COVID-19 underscores the importance of clean water access for all and has demonstrated the impact crises can have on sustainable water service delivery
  8. Resilience and Sustainability: For governments and the private sector, placing water stewardship at the heart of operations can result in better relations between stakeholders, customers, communities, and regulators

The application of new approaches and technologies will be vital to water management, financing and sustainability of the sector. Deloitte is committed to working on water-related issues with our clients.

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