Accelerated urbanization, rampant overpopulation and the growing effects of climate change are the three main factors that today endanger the availability of water. Some have gone so far as saying that wars in the near future will be fought over this precious and irreplaceable resource. This is why water management must not be left out when we consider the criteria that must be approached intelligently in modern city design.
There are major advances in smart water management that are being implemented in some places, like the Masdar City project (near Dubai), where a new-generation of smart water meters are able to communicate with their owners’ smart phones and tablets, informing them on their water use and warning them when leaks are detected in the system. A variety of subtle water-saving methods and strategies are built into the design of the city and its landscape, and all wastewater is treated and applied to landscaping through a drip-irrigation system, reducing water usage up to 60%.
But these exciting innovations should not make us forget that the implementation of less sophisticated forms of smart water management is urgently needed in many urban areas throughout the world that are affected by floods, drought, decaying water infrastructure and pollution. One example of this is Mumbai, in India, where the government is already taking measures to replace the city’s obsolete water metering system with a new one that allows for continuous and easy control of water usage.