The stewardship and care of natural resources is necessary to safeguard life itself. So, how do we ensure this delicate balance in perpetuity? An ever-growing population continues to place more demand (and strain) on finite land, water and energy, which certainly ups the ante. Something must give, right?

With a projected 1% annual increase in the global demand for water through 2050,[1] a heavy storm is ahead. Speaking of which, unpredictable weather patterns, harsher temperatures, and irregular climate conditions have directly and indirectly impacted our ability to deliver at the same level of production and outputs, let alone more. Take the severe drought in the West as one example, which I witnessed personally while attending the Ag Media Summit in Palm Springs, California several weeks ago. Picture an arid desert landscape and temperatures rising to 113° daily, alongside uncommonly high humidity, sporadic rain drops and windswept dust storms blanketing the nearby San Jacinto Mountain range.

Farmers, suppliers, manufacturers, industry and consumers are all affected by the current resource reality, or lack thereof. California – a key producer and supplier of staple crops year-round – is at a crossroads, again. Rice farmers in the north, along with other commodities and specialty crop growers, have and continue to feel the impact of Lake Meade and Lake Powell’s steady disappearance. Some crops simply remain unplanted due to limited or no water availability in the area. Make no mistake: groundwater is depleting quickly, aquifer supply alone is inadequate, and snowmelt and surface water are simply not enough.

Agriculture and industry are both water-intensive, yet essential. Enter wastewater. Enter data. Enter digital monitoring tools. Not literally, but rather beacons of hope. Innovation and advancements in technology have and continue to transform the sustainability narrative, helping unlock a more plentiful, abundant resource future. Likewise, impactful storytelling is the mode of transmission – reaching the right audiences at the right time and place, as well as strengthening calls to action and forward momentum. Instead of saying how game-changing products and new thinking are changing our world, we show target readers, users, influencers and value chain stakeholders:

    • The Orange County Water District has long been an innovative leader in indirect potable reuse. An integral component of its Groundwater Replenishment System – a 100 million gallon per day advanced water purification facility – is reverse osmosis membrane technology.


    • Dairy farms in Chino, California have left the groundwater high in nitrates. At the Chino Basin Desalter Authority, WAVE software models helped select the ideal technology to reject nitrates for clean drinking water.

World Water Week’s 2023 theme, “Seeds of Change: Innovative Solutions for a Water-Wise World,” invites us to rethink how we manage water. And, by extension, there is no better time to ask, reflect and communicate how your company is addressing, progressing and responding to resource scarcity and navigating sustainability. What’s working? What’s not and why? Who or what is the unsung hero? What’s next on the horizon? Critically thinking through these questions allows us to dissect, fuse and effectively connect your unique narrative and message.

As I was humbly reminded by one of the Summit’s distinguished moderators: “Water is not an issue we are going to solve with soundbites” – this is the on-ramp. Learn how to inform your communications strategy and advance your stories at the intersection of science and sustainability.


[1] UN Water


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