Water leaders are shaping the future of water

AWWA Water 2050 initiative.

Thinking about the future of the water has always been a warrior to the world and the government.

There are numerous concerns about freshwater availability.

As a result, finding an innovative solution to ensure water sustainability is critical.

Because everyone deserves access to clean water, The American Water Works Association (AWWA) has announced its Water 2050 initiative.

Which aims to build a long-term vision of water’s future.

This collaborative investigation will outline a route for a thriving and sustainable water sector.

What will the water community’s biggest challenge be in 2050?

Water is fundamental to sustainable development since it is necessary for socio-economic development, energy and food production, a healthy ecosystem and human survival.

As the world’s population develops, there is a greater need to balance competing commercial demands on water supplies so that communities have enough for their needs.

Access to clean water is a problem that arises daily.

These challenges are expected to expand in number and complexity in the coming years.

These are some of the most significant difficulties that water communities may face in 2050:

The industrial revolution and population increase will result in massive population shifts in search of water resources.

While drought and water shortage will boost competition for water resources, social justice will be required to avoid disinformation, distrust and public strife.

As water digitization grows, one of the water community’s issues will be cybersecurity, which will necessitate an engaged workforce and tighter regulation.

Water contamination from cyanobacteria, toxic algae blooms and other contaminants will raise the need to achieve acceptable water quality to gain public trust.

Water 2050 participation

To contributes to the water community’s important purpose of clean water, healthy people and a sustainable world, Water 2050, which will begin in 2022 and last through the end of 2023, will participate in:

1. Engage in meaningful discussions.

Thought leaders from the water sector and beyond will convene in intimate “think tanks” analyzes the future of water through the lens of five main factors.

2. Collaborate with strategic partners.

The collaboration will be required among water utilities, service providers, universities, water-sector groups and unconventional partners.

Water 2050 will also go beyond the water sector for new perspectives by engaging corporate water users, nonprofit organizations and other stakeholder groups.

3. Encourage intergenerational accountability.

Water professionals and leaders of now and tomorrow must collaborate to ensure a prosperous future.

Throughout the campaign, the voices of young and emerging professionals will be crucial.

4. Capture accumulated knowledge.

AWWA will report on the findings of each think tank and give additional guidance to help the water community realize the Water 2050 vision.

Five forces driving the future of water

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The multi-year effort is built around five small think tanks where both young and experienced thought leaders investigate the future of water through the lenses of sustainability, technology, economics, governance and social/demographics.

The recommendations generated by each guided think tank will serve as calls to action for AWWA, its sections and the larger water community.

These drivers will be considered by the Water 2050 think tanks and shape all future work supported by this initiative.

Sustainability force

Managing our planet’s scarce water supplies and water infrastructure is critical.

Climate change is one of the most serious threats.

It will bring more extreme and unpredictable weather, including protracted droughts and heatwaves, greater hurricanes and wildfires and catastrophic winter storms.

Water infrastructure will need to be strong and resilient in the future, which will necessitate skilled and creative care of our most critical natural resource.

How do we ensure there is enough water in 2050?

To answer this question, it’s important to identify the different water resources and threats facing water availability.


To ensure the sustainability of groundwater is important to regulate and control the use of aquifers.

Groundwater in many regions is considered to be the main primary source of water for domestic, urban, agricultural and industrial use.

Water pollution

Water pollution increases the already stressed water supplies in the world where freshwater demand is rising and water resources are limited.

To ensure that there is enough water, reducing pollution emissions is not an option.

Water treatment

Water treatment is an environmentally friendly procedure that helps to reduce water waste by recycling water that would otherwise be judged unhealthy and disposed of.

Thus, developing and creating efficient water treatment technologies and plants is critical.

Water reuse

Water reuse is an effective method of preserving water resources.

Water recycling advantages include using less water from external sources, reducing discharges and pollution, producing varied-grade waters for diverse applications and improving the urban water environment.

Thus, water reuse requires additional investment to generate more innovative ideas and gain community interest.

Watering methods

Agricultural water consumption has become a major global concern. In most cases, technological advances have increased irrigation costs while failing to gain the full benefits of water efficiency.

Solar irrigation, sprinkler irrigation systems and underground drainage in agricultural land are examples of innovative technology.

Using data

it’s a digitization era where data is the most valuable source of development.

Similarly, using data will enhance the prediction of water needs, management and development of innovative solutions.

Cooperative Watershed management

As watershed management assists in the control of pollution of water and other natural resources in the watershed by identifying the many types of pollution existing in the watershed.

All activities that take place within a watershed have an impact on the natural resources and water quality of that watershed.

It’s also valuable to Encourage community ownership of their resources and the need for intergovernmental cooperation.

Finally, to ensure water sustainability it’s critical to change the way of thinking as being traditional is not a solution.

Be more creative and more changeling.

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What are the most important things utilities can do to be sustainable in 2050 and beyond?

To achieve the water sustainability goal, it’s important to:

1-Explore desalination.

Although seawater desalination can provide a climate-independent source of drinking water, some communities consider the process energy-intensive and environmentally destructive.

Thus, desalination must be investigated using sustainable planning, design, construction and operation concepts.

2-Accurately communicate the value of clean water.

3-Direct potable reuse and getting the public to buy

4-True leadership and vision and inter partnership

5-Hire and mentor the right people

6-Establish a culture of discipline, quality products, integrity

7-Educate customers

8-Planning to engage all stakeholders and bring data.

9-Education conservation, innovation, communication.

Economic force

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The water community is increasingly expected to perform more with less while addressing growing infrastructure needs.

Important economic considerations such as regionalization, supply chain resilience, decentralized treatment, ESG methods for risk and value assessment and the benefits of a circular economy must be considered.

Rate-setting will take place in a world that is more conscious of justice and economic issues.

Where will funding for water come from in 2050?

Start with education and training which will be the womb of smart innovative solutions and technology as Water is funded through a combination of real rate billing, joint private-public activities, environmental levies, taxes and increased end-user prices.

How can everyone have access to safe water and sanitation in 2050?

It is necessary to have conservation programs and reuse water systems, such as a self-contained solar-powered reuse system, to achieve access to safe water.

Technology and innovation to capture existing water such as desert netting and the development of water desalination will also play a role in access to clean water.

Water pollution worsens water scarcity by leaving more bodies of water unsafe for use.

As a result, reducing or preventing water pollution as well as conserving water bodies is an effective way to ensure water sustainability.

The government should employ more effort to Construct a Large-scale water distribution system to get water to places that need water.

Technology force

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Water professionals now have access to new technologies that are changing the way they interact with water resources, water systems and the people they serve as the globe enters the fourth industrial revolution.

Data, analytics, the Internet of Things (IoT), machine learning and artificial intelligence advances will increasingly empower consumers and have an impact on water system operations.

The adoption of new technologies will solve difficult problems while also introducing unexpected consequences.

What technology will we have in 2050 that we can imagen right now?

The water sector is growing day by day and several technologies have been developed to solve water issues.

However, as water challenges become more acute, these technologies must become more innovative and efficient in both economic and environmental dimensions.

The following are some of the technologies that are expected to be prevalent in 2050:

Extracting water from asteroids and comet’s ice

If our planet runs out of water, we may be able to save ourselves by extracting water from asteroids and comets’ ice.

Scientists have sent probes to explore these space pebbles.

Future lenders may be able to mine them in deep space or even drag them back to Earth. Though the concept may seem far-fetched, space-mining businesses already exist.

Net zero homes

The purpose of net zero water is to maintain the amount and quality of natural water resources while minimizing degeneration, loss and rerouting by exploiting available alternative water sources and water efficiency methods to reduce the usage of supplied fresh water.

This principle can be applied across homes.

Eventually, a net zero water home offsets water consumption with alternate water as well as the water returned to the original water source.

Plastic-eating mushroom

Unfortunately, there are no effective means to dispose of synthetic polymer-based plastic items, thus they end up polluting the environment and constituting a global ecological concern.

While reusing and recycling plastic into new items can help to mitigate some of the problems, many plastics cannot be recycled.

Recently, a plastic-eating mushroom has been discovered.

They can degrade plastics which can live entirely depending on plastic and without oxygen.

These mushrooms can be used to treat water bodies from plastics and microplastic contaminants.


Bioremediation is an innovative technology that can be used to remove and reduce heavy metals from polluted water and soil.

Bioremediation employing microorganisms has a high potential for future development due to its low cost and environmental compatibility.

Algae, fungi, yeasts and bacteria are among the microorganisms that can operate as biologically active methylators, capable of altering hazardous species.

Harvesting fresh water from clouds

Harvesting fresh water from clouds is one of the more novel techniques of getting water, but it has not been demonstrated.

Fog occurs when the cloud’s base makes contact with the earth.

Fog collectors operate best around the shore, where the water can be collected when the fog drifts inland due to the wind.

Cloud harvesting is not the same as cloud seeding.

As in this technique, chemicals such as Silver Iodide or Dry Ice are introduced into clouds containing water that is colder than zero degrees Celsius.

These compounds promote the formation of ice crystals/water droplets, causing rain/snow to fall from the clouds.

Other technologies such as smart filtration systems, Harvesting Water through Biomimicry, Nanotechnology and solar-powered water utilities need more development to be capable on a large scale.

How can we advance water innovation to meet the needs of 2050?

This initiation aims to shape the future of water, asking the world what we want to be in the future.

To achieve these goals, it’s important to look at innovations outside the water community, entice more people to enter the water sector and intergovernmental collaboration combining resources and technology and partnership, relationships and collaborations with community and human services organizations.

In addition, it’s critical to use water treated for end-use consumption and to discover new ways to purify sweat and urine.

Governance force

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The functions of the federal, provincial, state and local governments all have a considerable impact on how water utilities operate and are regulated.

The model of tomorrow’s water utilities will be shaped by both economics and governance.

To increase efficiencies, certain cities may resort to regional solutions.

Communities will have to assess new techniques, such as fit-for-purpose standards and decentralized treatment, as regulatory frameworks evolve.

What will regulations look like in 2050?

With policy being reviewed, and updated regularly and considering aspects relevant to utility spaces, community needs and budget demands, leadership will be more flexible and organized.

Regulations will be harsher and more standardized for distributing water to scarce places and moving people to water-abundant areas, as well as maintaining water in rivers and lakes to keep their biological functioning intact to save water and ensure its quality.

How are utilities will be managed in 2050?

Water facilities will increasingly rely on automation technology to monitor and respond as AI and machine learning will play an increasingly important role in managing and reporting on large geographic areas as well as smart technology for data analysis and improvement.

To ensure the creation of innovative solutions and ideas Water utilities will be governed by younger professionals as utilities engage young individuals early.

In addition, Organizational operating systems that operate remotely over wide areas with rapid response expertise teams to solve technically challenging situations.

Social and demographic force

Public concern about water quality and equity is growing, which implies that all communities must seek to build public confidence.

Simultaneously, prospective population transitions between urban and rural areas pose resource and infrastructure difficulties, while also necessitating community-driven water solutions.

Population expansion in water-stressed communities will necessitate creative thinking to manage limited resources.

How does the water community build awareness of the value of water?

Water communities should begin in primary schools to raise people’s understanding of the worth of water because changing someone’s thinking and engaging them becomes more difficult as they become older.

The utility, as well as charity water groups, should be present in the neighborhoods and ensure public engagement.

Moreover, blogs and other social media play an important part in combating endless disinformation that raises public awareness of the value of water.

What can we do now to support SDG 6?

water pollution and scarcity are the primary problems facing water sectors that’s why it’s vital to cut our greenhouse emissions and conserve water regardless of our source.

While cross-border collaboration is required to ensure everyone has access to water.

Furthermore, it is necessary to educate individuals in the water sector, enable knowledge transfer and collaborate with the UN and the World Bank to make water economically viable.

What one word or phrase describes the water community of 2050? 

The Water 2050 initiative aims to build a long-term vision of water’s future.

Where the water community can be described as:

Dependence: communities will be able to depend on different innovative water resources.

Resilient: the communities will be able to overcome water challenges and remain adaptable to an uncertain future.

Equitable: refers to a fair system of water benefits for all people, including resilient communities in the face of climate change.

Safer and Cleaner: communities will access safer and cleaner water which will affect the community’s health.

Sustainability and Integrated: each member of the community will participate to get sustainable water resources and water protection.

Smart and Innovative: the community will have smart and innovative water technologies that assist to overcome water threats.

As well as communities can be described as Efficient, Adaptive, Conservation, United and Global.

Will you be part of the water community of 2050?

Now it’s your turn to choose your role in the 2050 water community.

Are you a passionate person or assisting people how to make a change?

Are you an effective person or an innovative company?

Don’t think you are not a part of it because all will be affected.


[1] Water 2050, online available at: https://www.awwa.org/Resources-Tools/Water-2050#12684712-drivers

[2] https://www.waterworld.com/drinking-water/video/14279115/awwas-water-2050-initiative

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