Quebec has taken a big step forward in water protection with the bill on water royalties, tabled by the Minister of the Environment and the Fight against Climate Change, Benoit Charette. Finally, large companies will have to pay for the use of water at its fair price, ending an era when it was considered a free and endless resource for large industries. We welcome this initiative taken by the government.
Water is a precious resource and its protection is a complex issue that must be tackled in several ways. Quebecers may have unconsciously taken easy access to water for granted over the years. The droughts in France and the United States have clearly demonstrated how strategic this resource is for the future, reminding us of the crucial importance of blue gold and the challenges we face in ensuring its availability for future generations.
Among the challenges to be met, the use of water in urban areas is a major concern, since, for the first time in history, more than half of the world’s population lives in these areas.
Currently, urban demand represents between 15% and 20% of global water consumption, but this is expected to increase by up to 30%. This growth will result in an increase in wastewater and the pollution it generates. Climate change further aggravates the situation by altering the quantity, distribution and quality of available water. Urban water supply and sanitation services, often delivered by public entities, will face these challenges, in addition to the performance issues seen in many public sector entities.
The water charge and the establishment of the Blue Fund are major milestones in ensuring the availability of fresh water in the long term. However, for these measures to be effective, it is essential that everyone understands that protecting water is a responsibility shared by all.
As consumers, we can all contribute to reducing our water footprint by adopting responsible practices, such as reducing our water consumption, repairing water leaks, collecting rainwater and water recycling.
Technological advances such as remote monitoring, the use of sensors to monitor water quality and the introduction of innovative treatment systems can also help improve the efficiency and sustainability of water supply services. water.
The water technology sector is constantly evolving and innovation plays a crucial role in meeting the challenges that arise. To address these challenges, a collaborative approach between the private sector and associated industries is also needed. Fortunately, more and more companies are integrating water protection into their strategy and plan commonly referred to as “ESG” (which brings together environmental, social and governance factors), which is encouraging. It is essential that this movement continues to ensure the long-term availability of fresh water.