Water as a resource

An essential component of sustainable development is the careful and efficient use of natural resources. The entire economic cycle is considered, from the extraction of raw materials to the manufacture and use of products to the recycling and disposal of waste.

Water is an existential resource of life for humans, animals and plants. Of the world's water reserves, only just under 3% is fresh water. Much of the fresh water is bound up in ice, snow and permafrost soils. Only a small portion of the remaining freshwater is actually usable as a resource, and much of it is inaccessible. In addition, freshwater resources are unevenly distributed globally. Nearly half of the world's population will suffer from water shortages by 2030, scientists say.

In some parts of Europe, water is abundant, but in others it is scarce. Water is a limited resource. It must be treated so it can be safely used as drinking water, and waste water must be processed before it is returned to the environment: Both activities consume energy and other resources. With a future of increased water scarcity, increasingly unpredictable weather phenomena, and increased global demand for fresh water, it is important that water as a resource is used more efficiently, both directly and indirectly.

A key component of sustainable development is the careful and efficient use of natural resources. This involves looking at the entire economic cycle, from the extraction of raw materials and the manufacture and use of products to the recycling and disposal of waste.

The use of resources - in addition to raw materials and energy sources, this also includes biodiversity, water, soil and land or clean air - is an essential basis of human life and economic activity. Natural resources are under pressure worldwide, so they must be extracted carefully and used efficiently. The avoidance of waste and the use of residual and waste materials as secondary raw materials and the recovery of energy from waste can make a significant contribution to resource conservation, as can resource-conserving production processes, products and utilization concepts.

Disposal is the generic term for all processes and activities that serve to dispose of or recycle waste. When it comes to disposal, the principle should be: Better to invest a little time in intelligent disposal today than to have to pay for the elimination of environmental problems tomorrow!

 

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