Main menu


Technology and ensuring water sustainability in the future

Technology-enabled solutions such as AI-powered automation and analytics can help improve water sustainability around the world.

Technology and ensuring water sustainability in the future

The importance of water and its guarantee

Water is a vital resource for humans and a pillar of food security, energy production, and environmental protection, but it is also a resource threatened by many challenges such as scarcity, pollution, climate change, and unequal distribution, according to a report from the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO). Published in 2019, around 2 billion people around the world lack access to clean drinking water services, which means that 1 in 3 people globally do not have access to safe drinking water.

Additionally, by 2025, the United Nations predicts that 1.8 billion people would reside in nations or areas with a complete water shortage. To address these challenges and ensure water sustainability for current and future generations, many governments, research centers, and companies have begun to develop innovative technologies. It can improve water efficiency, quality, and accessibility.

How to use technology to ensure water sustainability in the future

Technology-enabled solutions such as AI-powered automation and analytics can help improve water sustainability around the world. For example, smart meters can help consumers track human water usage in an intelligent way, reducing unnecessary waste. Here are some other innovative technologies that can help ensure water sustainability now and in the future:

1- Solar water filtration

In many places around the world, the problem is not that there is not enough water, but that most of the available water is polluted. For example, in developing countries, about 80% of wastewater is used without treatment, which is why companies have begun to innovate solutions to provide usable water by providing solar-powered filtration devices to produce pure drinking water.

One such company is Innovative Water Technologies, which develops water treatment products. It has developed a water filtration system called SunSpring Hybrid, a portable solar and wind-powered system that provides about 20,000 liters of clean water per day., and can last up to ten years.

2- Fog technology for water harvesting

It is a technique also called cloud fishing that is used to capture water from fog collected by the wind, and fog harvesters are net structures, usually one square meter in area, that are erected perpendicular to the wind path. As the wind blows the fog through the device, the mesh catches the droplets and gravity pulls the water into containers below.

This technology has been applied in many countries, including Morocco, where the non-profit organization Dar Si Hmad installed fog harvesters on the slopes of Mount Timizguida, which is now the largest fog harvesting project in the world. About 6,300 liters of pure water per day

3- Smart irrigation control units

Smart Irrigation Controllers are devices that automatically regulate the amount of water that is pumped from the water source to the area to be watered. Sensors are used in them and the user can either program them or come with pre-programmed settings.

These devices can reduce water wastage by monitoring weather, soil conditions, and evapotranspiration to automatically adjust the irrigation schedule based on actual site conditions. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), smart irrigation control systems can save an average of about 8,800 gallons of water per American home annually by using the right amount of water based on location factors.

4- Water desalination techniques

The technologies used in water desalination can contribute to ensuring water sustainability in the future by increasing the supply of fresh water in areas facing water scarcity due to climate change, population growth, or pollution. A portable desalination equipment that can create clean drinking water by removing particles and salts weighs less than 10 kilos.

Developed by MIT researchers, the suitcase-sized unit requires less power to operate than a cell phone charger, via a small portable solar panel, and is capable of automatically generating drinking water that exceeds WHO quality standards.

5- Use of predictive analytics

Predictive analytics can help ensure water sustainability by improving the management, optimization, and quality assurance of water assets. For example, predictive analytics technology can help water utilities monitor the condition and performance of infrastructure such as pipes, pumps, and valves, and predict when they need maintenance or replacement, reducing water waste, saving costs, and extending equipment life.

Moreover, it can also help water utilities analyze water supply and demand patterns, which helps them adjust their operations accordingly, and predict future scenarios under different conditions, which can lead to increased water production efficiency, reduced energy consumption, and improved flexibility.

6- Using artificial intelligence applications

Various AI models are powerful tools that can help improve water sustainability through intelligent monitoring and predictive modeling of water quality and pollution issues, in addition to optimizing water supply and sanitation systems, reducing costs, and improving service delivery.

Here are some examples of AI applications that can be used for water sustainability:

  • Using smart sensors and machine learning models to detect and monitor the dispersion and leakage of pollutants before they reach groundwater.
  • Using artificial neural networks (ANNs) to predict changes in water quality and improve aquaculture efficiency.
  • Using big data analytics to help manage water demand, distribution, and consumption.
  • Using computer vision and natural language processing (NLP) to help extract information from satellite imagery, social media posts, and other sources, to assess water availability and accessibility and to manage associated risks.

7- Using smart monitoring tools

In developing countries alone, it is estimated that about 45 million cubic meters are lost daily through water leakage in distribution networks, which is sufficient for the needs of nearly 200 million people. These leaks increase pressure on water resources that are already suffering, and then smart monitoring tools help (Smart Monitoring) companies in ensuring the safety of water supply networks.

Tools such as Smart Water Meters allow frequent capture and sharing of water consumption data, monitor flow rate, identify backflows and send alerts at the first sign of a problem.

Furthermore, smart water shutoff sensors can be used to detect leaks and automatically shut off the water system in the event of a leak, and tools such as pressure and sound sensors wirelessly connected in real-time to centralized cloud-based monitoring systems allow companies to detect and identify leaks faster.

8- Wastewater treatment

Even in urban areas, wastewater is often discharged into estuaries or used as irrigation water without being treated, but technology can be used to turn wastewater into a resource for power generation and a source of drinking water. For example, vacuum filtration uses a vacuum pump to create a pressure difference through a filter medium that traps solids and allows water to pass through, which can later be treated for drinking, cleaning, or irrigation.


In conclusion, it can be said that ensuring the availability of an adequate amount of water for urban, agricultural, and industrial uses is the most important issue facing the world's societies, and therefore sustainable water management requires a comprehensive approach and cooperation between various stakeholders, such as governments, companies, societies and individuals, and the adoption of innovative practices and technologies to further ensure access Everyone to clean and safe water to use.