Water in the 21st Century

Of our planet’s vast amount of water, 2.5% is freshwater, and less than half of that total is surface freshwater; over 96% of the earth’s water is saltwater retained in the oceans. Water helps power our energy infrastructure and is a key highway for global trade. It flows through our buildings and enables crops to grow. Yet, water security and future availability is far from guaranteed. We live as if it’s an unlimited resource, an illusion deferred to some distant generation to deal with or ignore.

Demands on water continue to grow. Global population is projected to reach 9 billion. The United Nations estimates that by 2030, the world faces a 40% water deficit. Increasing urbanization and industrialization persist, leaving concerns about water security, scarcity, and sustainability to surge in importance. Water conservation and smart water management will be key tools in mitigating the most deleterious effects.

Identifying water waste can help ensure a more sustainable water footprint. The average family in the United States wastes 13,000 gallons of water a year, according to the EPA. That’s enough to fill a backyard swimming pool! Los Angeles County alone has approximately 250,000 residential pools. It’s easy to see how water waste can quickly scale into the billions of gallons.

The State of California, with a population of nearly 40 million, recently weathered one of the worst droughts in its history. Through the efforts of both industry and consumers, over 20% of available water was conserved between June 2015 and February 2017. This required widespread communication and adoption of water-saving principles and practices. Reducing water waste was a key component. Drought will continue to be an issue in the 21st century, affecting lives and water availability from Australia to Africa to North America.

Here at APANA®, we’re creating and leveraging cutting-edge technology to help stakeholders across commercial and industrial properties identify and resolve water waste throughout the built environment. Simply put, it’s good for the planet and for the bottom line. We’ll be taking a critical look at how water is used, where waste persist, and how technology is transforming the way we conserve.

Subscribe to our mailing list to receive periodic updates the “new normal” for water and to learn about how your organization can make a real impact on water use. And don’t forget to check back here for the most up-to-date information.



California State Water Resources Control Board

UN World Water Development Report

Discard Studies

Statistics Canada

EPA WaterSense

Fast Company