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Due to the rapidly growing population, the freshwater resources are becoming increasingly scarce. Today, more than one billion people do not have access to clean drinking water - according to information provided by the WHO. This situation is expected to get worse in the coming years. On the one hand, this usually leads to serious sanitation problems and thus to health problems.

On the other hand, the freshwater resources are contaminated - in many countries - by industrial waste water, waste or intensive farming in many countries as a result of urbanisation and the lack of a functioning water treatment infrastructure. In most cases, this results in environmental damage which is often irreversible and further decimates the already scarce drinking water resources1.

The lead market Sustainable water management is divided into four areas. In these areas, the different technological fields (instruments and measures) for a sustainable water management are shown. 

First of all, technical, cost-effective and efficiency-related solutions are needed in order to establish long-term sustainability in the water sector and to cover the constantly growing water demand. An important precondition is the sufficient precaution against water pollution while handling water-polluting substances, e.g. when transporting, in the industry and the agriculture or by new procedures such as the gas fracking or the storage of CO2in the earth’s crust. This can be achieved by protective measures, e.g. by reduction measures at the water source, a well-developed infrastructure for the water supply and the wastewater treatment, developments of new technologies as well as the continuous expansion of the environmental awareness.

A proper water supply is also necessary for the protection of the health of the citizens (quality of the drinking water). The proper wastewater disposal by the municipal administrationserves for protecting both the health and the waters2

The water catchment, water preparation and wastewater treatment as well as their protective measures are followed by the infrastructure for the water supply and the wastewater treatment. This includes the water supply networks and water disposal networks and their components.

Due to demographic changes as well as the high demands on the efficiency of the resource use and the consideration of climatic influences, it is necessary to adapt the distribution systems continually to the prevailing conditions. Urban regions, in particular, require innovative solutions due to the high population, the flood protection and the increasing demand of the industry.

The next area of application aims at the measures to enhance efficiency when using water - regarding both the households and the industry. Examples for the household are, for example, the use of water-saving washing machines, the use of rainwater for toilet flushing or for irrigation. In most cases, commercial and industrial companies not only have a high water consumption, but also large roof areas. These are the ideal conditions for the use of rainwater in the cooling water courses, the fire-fighting storage, in the metal washing systems or vehicle washing systems. Energy-efficient and energy-saving developments play - already when producing components such as pumps - an important role.

More information about the Cleantech-lead market sustainable watermanagement:

Importance of the lead market "Sustainable water management" for East Germany

1Reset – Times for a better World