Water: Towards a Culture of Responsibility
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Maps and diagrams; English translation completed and included with rights
Clean, fresh, drinking water is essential to human and animal life. It’s equally important to the world economy: It functions as a solvent for chemical substances, makes possible industrial cooling and transportation, and is necessary for all agriculture. Frighteningly, it is estimated that by the year 2025, more than half of the world population will lack sufficient water. According to the United Nations, we are in a water crisis. What can we do other than turning off the faucet while brushing our teeth?
Antoine Frérot, the CEO of Veolia Water, takes us on a tour of the world’s waters, of our water. It is a world in which a lack of water quality kills 2.2 million people every year and nearly 1 billion people lack access to drinking water. Using examples that transform theory into close-to-home reality, Frérot issues a serious challenge to us all while helping us understand the ways in which we can ensure that all the fast-growing cities of Asia, Africa, and Latin America have enough water. He considers how climate changes will cause water shortages and explains what we can do to prevent them. He acknowledges Europe’s increasingly poor water quality and discusses what is necessary to restore it.
Frérot then points us in the direction of taking responsibility for the management, sharing, and preservation of this most precious resource and of making it available to everyone. We have the political, economic, and scientific means to ensure the future of water on earth; we need only the will to take action. We urgently need to take action now, and Frérot shows us the way. He argues that we can and need to “dehydrate” the economy, fight waste on micro and macro levels, and make better use of alternative resources such as waste water.
Antoine Frérot : Antoine Frérot is a graduate of the École Polytechnique and an engineer in the Corps des Ponts et Chaussées. He is CEO of Veolia Water, the water division of Veolia Environment.