Why do we need to manage global water resources? According to environmental scientist Dr Debbie Chapman, our health and well-being depend on it – and the payback is tremendous.

Posted on ISO.org | By Elizabeth Gasiorowski-Denis

Dr Debbie Chapman, Director of the UN Environment GEMS/Water Capacity Development Centre
University College Cork, Ireland.

Water is one of the basic necessities of our life. We always hear about how much water we should drink daily, but we don’t hear much about the amount of water we are wasting, water scarcity, or how we can reduce usage.

Here’s a startling figure. Only 1 % of the world’s freshwater is easily accessible. To make matters worse, it is not evenly distributed around the globe and is vulnerable to contamination from human activities. Even more disturbing, the long-standing concept that freshwater is a renewable resource is now compromised by the ongoing deterioration in water quality, leading to the degradation of aquatic ecosystems on which human health, livelihoods and development depend.

Freshwater scarcity and quality deterioration rank among the most urgent environmental challenges of this century. According to UN Water, a United Nations inter-agency coordination mechanism for all freshwater and sanitation issues, Earth is facing a 40 % shortfall in water supply by 2030, unless we dramatically improve its management.

ISOfocus recently had the opportunity to talk to environmental scientist Dr Debbie Chapman, who has been associated with GEMS/Water for over 30 years and is well known the world over for her role in promoting water quality monitoring and assessment.

Read entire interview Managing a precious resource | ISO.org

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